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G(.)\'ERN.\rEN'r OF INDIA 



Acc. No. 623 I 'y / 

___ _ 

GIPN— S1~-2D. G. Arch.N. D./57— 2 ) g-SB— 1,00, 000 



Studies in History and Politics 


Studies in History and Politics 

Edited ty 

J. N. Singh Yadav 
MA,, Ph. D, 
Government College, 
Gurgaon (Haryana) 


)Vi A N O H A A 

(g) J, N. Singh Yadav 

First Published : November 1976 

Price : Rs. 40/- 

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Haryana is a State with glorious past and brilliant present. 
Our Prime Minister Shrimati Indira Gandhi is perfectly correct 
in her , observation about this State: “The very name Haryana 
commemorates the People who gave our Country its dominant 
culture. Here were sung the first hymns of Aryan fore-fathers. 
This was the land of the Mahabharta. Beginning with Kuruk- 
shetra some of the great battles of our land have been fought in 
this region. "But the people of Haryana have been as much men 
of peace as warriors. They have proved achievements to their 
credit as agriculturists and craftsmen.’* 

The studies contained in this voluipe are meant to throw 
some light on different aspects of life of these people whom the 
Prime Minister has paid a rich tribute. The authors of the 
studies are well known for their competence to handle the 
subjects that they have written about ; yet in a work of this 
nature complete cohesiveness and fullness cannot be expected. 
Such a work can at best provide us with useful glimpses of the 
whole picture. 

Unfortunately, not enough material in black and white is 
available on the history, culture and politics of Haryana. In 
such circumstance ; it is hoped that the studies presented here in 
this volume will be found useful for those who want to know 
something about Haryana, its people and their life— in all its 

Naturally, in the preparation of a work like this, I have 
incurred more than the usual number of obligations. I have 
received immense help from various quarters and persons in 
completing this volume. The authors of the studies have put me 
under great obligation by sparing their valuable time in doing 
their studies for this volume. I am most grateful to my friend 
Dr. K.C. Yadav, M. A., Ph. D., F. R, A. S. ^London), for 
inspiring me to undertake this task and then to complete it. 

I am greatly obliged to Col. Maha Singh, Development Minister, 
Haryana for his unstinted encouragement in my academic pursuits, 

I am also thankful to Shri Hargian Singh Dhayal, Sh. GaJ Raj 
Singh Rao, Dr. Joginder Singh, M. Sc., Ph. D., Sh. P. S. Rao, 

Dr. V. Bliagwan,M.A.,Pli.D., Sh. R.P. Khatana, Sh. C.R. Rathee, 
Sh. R. P. S. Walia and Sh. S. R. Yadav for their valuable 
suggestions which have gone a long way in improving the 
standrad of this work. I am equally thankful to Swami Sudha 
Nand Sarswati, Sh. R.P. Yadav, M.P. (Lok Sabha), Dr. S.N. Rao, 
Registrar, Rohtak University, Dr. Jaswant S. Yadav, Professor 
of Research, 1 1 M C, New Delhi and Dr. J. R. Siwach, B.N.C. 
University Kurukshetra for their love and encouragement. My 
grateful thanks are also to my wife for her never failing encou- 
ragement and cooperation, without which this work would not , 
have been possible. Preparation of Index has been done by my 
Daughter (Miss) Krishna Yadav. 

I am also thankful to Mrs Shashi Priya Yadav of Viros 
Prakashan, M/s Manohar Book Service, the distributors and the 

Haryana Day 

J, N» Singh Yadav 





1. Glimpses of Ancient Haryana 

-—Dr. Buddha Prakash M.A., Ph.D., D. Litt. 

Late Professor of History, Kurukshetra University, 

2 . 




6 . 


Haryana— The Cradle of Vedic Civilization And 

—Dr. H.R. Gupta, M.A., Ph.D., D. Litt. 

Formerly Professor and Head of the History Department, 
Punjab University, Chandigarh. 

The Bhadanakas of Haryana 

—Dr. Buddha Prakash, M.A., Ph.D., D. Litt, 

Repercussions of Surajmal’s Death on Haryana 

—Dr. H.R. Gupta, M.A., Ph.D., D. Litt. 

The Haryana-Sikh Relations 

— Dr. Ganda Singh, M.A., Ph.D., D. Litt. 

Formerly Director of Punjab Historical Studies^ Patiala, 

Civil Rebellion in Haryana in the Uprising of 1857 
—Dr. K,C. Yadav, M.A., Ph.D., F.R.A.S. (London), 
Depariment of History, Kurukshetra University, 

Impact of the Delhi Hartal of 30 March 1919 on 

—Dr. Sangat Singh, M.A„ Ph.D. 

Ministry of External Affairs, New Delhi, 

Haryana — The Land and The People 

—Dr. K.C. Yadav, M.A., Ph.D., F.R.A.S. (London). 

The Role of the Jats in Northern India’s 
Ethnic History 
-M.K. Kudryavtsev, (U.S.S.R.) 











10. l»olitical Developments in riaryana (1928-194^ 

—Dr. Jagdish Chander, M.A., Ph.D. 

Nehru Memorial College, Hansi. 

11. The Politics in Haryana— A Round Up 

-~Dr. J.N. Singh Yadav, M.A., Ph.D. 

Govt. College, Gurgaon. 



Dr. BUDDHA PRAKASH, M.A., Ph.D., D.Litt. 

The word Hariyana occurs in the Delhi Museum Inscrip- 
tion dated 1328 A. D. which refers to this region as a very 
heaven on earth and includes Delhi (Dhillika), founded by the 
Tomaras, in it.^ The Palam Baoli Inscription calls this terrtiory 
Hariyananka and states that it was first ruled by the Tomaras,^ 
It appears that the word hariyana or hariyanaka was of deshi 
origin and signified a country of greenery and vegetation. Its 
Sanskrit counterpart is bahudhanyakay meaning a country yielding 
bountiful harvests of corn, which occurs in the Mahabharata as 
well as the legends an ancient coins, especially those of the 
Yaudheyas. It is also likely that this word is derived from Hari^ 
the name of God Vishnu, for the Yashastilaka-Chamjpu of 
Somadeva states that the ruling family of this region was known 
as Harimnsha^’^ But a more probable etymology is Abhirayana^ 
Ahirayana= Mir ayana^ Hariyana. Since in the post-Mahabharala 
period the Abhiras^ modern Ahirs, became prominent in this 
region. It came to be known by their name. The hub of this area is 
the valley of the Sarasvati and Drishadvati, Ghaggar and Chitang. 
These rivers and their numerous feeders do not follow a normal 
course, as other streams, but at some places lose themeselves in 
sand and a few miles later reappear and sometimes form ponds and 
lakes. There is almost an indessant struggle between the dusty 
winds of the deserts and the vitalising currents of these rivers. 
Hence, rightly, their streams, ponds and Jakes, going under 
various names, have been deified as veritable divine beings, 
worthy of worship and pilgrimage, and thousands of people 
go there for ablutions in the expectation of religious merit and 
heavenly bliss. 

The geopolitical situation of Sarasvati-Drishadvati regiop 
is maiply responsible for its sanctimonious conception. Jt 

1. Epigrahia Indica^ Vol. I, pp. 93-95 

2, Ibid., Vol. V, Appendix, p. 34 

2a. Yashastilakachampu of Somadeva (ed. Sundar Lai Shastri, Varanasi, 
1960) p. 15 



constitutes the gateway to the citadel of the Gangetic Valley, 
formed by the Himalayas in the north and the Aravallis in the 
south, with the great desert of Rajasthan, prolonged seaward 
by the salty and tidal marsh of the Rann of Cutch, in the west. 
The land between the north-eastern extermity of the desert and 
the foot of the Himalayas below Simla provides a passage from the 
north-west which leads to the entrance of the Gangetic plain at 
Delhi on the Yamuna. Naturally, therefore, this gateway is the 
key to the security of the north Indian plain and on its defence 
^s depended the independence of the country from ages imme- 
morial. It is significant that this region is littered with ancient 
battlefields like Kurukshetra, Taraori, Panipat, Kunjpura and 
Karnal where the fate of India continued to be decided for 
centuries without number. That is why it is Karmakshetra and 
Dhramakshetra^ the land adored with libations of blood and 
the region requiring an immense sacrifice on the part of the 
people, Every inch of this territory is a holy place and a 
pilgfimage, where people have been coming from all parts of 
the country with a religious motive and a burning faith in the 
sacredness of its soil. This religious sanctity enshrines the 
military importance of this region, and its spiritual association 
encases the material advantage that ensues from its proper 
protection. A region, on the security of which the destiny of 
millions of men depends, cannot but be the land of highest 
religious purity and cultural significance. 

This land is known by a variety of names like Uttaravedi, 
Brahmavedi, Kurukshetra, Samantapanchaka, Sarvapanchaka, 
etc. The last-mentioned name signifies the territory whose 
perimeter on each of the four sides measured fiwQ yojanas.^ This 
region abounded in forests and ponds, the retreats of sages and 
ascetics, and teemed with towns and villages inhabited by 
industrious and prosperous people. The Puranas and the Epic 
mention a belt of seven forests in it consisting of Kamyakavana, 
Aditivana, Vyasavana, Phalakivana, Suryavana, Madhuvana and 
Sitavana, whose names correspend to the sites of modern 
Kamoda, Amin, Vyasasfhali (Bastali), Pharal, Sajuman, Mohana, 
and Sivana. Besides these places, Prithuvana stands for the 
territory of present Pehova and Shalavana is representeci by 
modern Salon. 

3, Vamam Parana, XXII, 16 

irr H ^ 

The sacred ponds of this region are the Prithudaka tank at Pehova, 
Phalgu tank at Pharal, Parasir tank at Bahlolpur and the Sthanu, 
Sannihiti and Kurukshetra tanks near Thanesar, besides many other 
small tanks spread over the whole area and associated with epic 
events. The four points of pilgrimage of this region are marked by 
Yaksha shrines ; Arantuka in prithudaka or Pehova, Rantuka or Taran- 
tuka in Thanesar or Taraori, Kapila near Kaithal with his wife 
Ulnkhala at Pundri and Machakruka near Jakhala. The texts mention 
an inner and on outer circle of pilgrimages which include Pundarika 
(Pundri), Sarpadevi or Sarpidadhi (Safidon), Kapisthala (Kaithal) 
Prithudaka (Pehova), Sthanu vata (Thanesar), Phalakivana (Pharal), 
Vimala (Vimalasara at Saga), Pariplava (Balu), Dakshashrama 
(Dachor), Shalukina (Salon), Varahatirtha (Baras or Barara), 
Yugandhara (Jagadhari), Bhutalaya (Buria), Ramahrida (Ramra), 
Lokodhara (Ladwa), Gavambhavana (Gohana), Sangini (Sinkh), 
Manushatirtha (Manasa), Rudrakoti (Radaur), Nagsihrida (Nagaduj, 
Panikhata (Panipat ?), Pavanahrida (Upalana), Sapta-Sarasvata 
(Magna) etc. This outer ring of pilgrimage encompasses an area 
of forty-eight kroshas or about hundred miles. 

Indian traditions regard this region as the matrix of creation 
and civilization. It is the site of the northern altar where Brahma 
performed the pristine sacrifice from which the creation arose. It 
is the region where the Aryas lived from the very dawn of humanity, 
as the following prayer to Sarasvati, contained in the Egiveda shows : 

‘‘Guide us, Sarasvati, to glorious treasure : refuse us not thy 
milk, nor spurn us from thee. 

Gladly accept our friendship and obedience : let us not go 
from thee to distant countries 

In the Rigvedic period the territory of the Drishadvati, Sarasvati 
and Apaya, later known as Kurukshetra, on accopnt of the association 
of the kurus, is associated with the Bharatas, whose kings are said to 
have kindled the sacred fires there.® In the Apri hymns Sarasvati is 

4. Rigveda,m,6\,\\A 

^ ^ ^ nrq to nr ^ ^ i 

w- ^ nr 5^ 1 1 

■ij Ri^veda, III, 23 

mentioned with Bharati, the glory of the Bharatas. In the Vajasneyi 
Sanihita the Bharatas appear in place of the Kuru-Panchalas.^* The 
Vedib poets wax eloquent over, the Bharata kings Divodasa and Sudas. 
The latter was a mighty conqueror and a paramount- ruler, about 
whom the Rigveda says : 

'*Come forward, Kushikas,. and be attentive; let loose Sudas’s 
horse to win him riches. 

"East, west and north, let the king slay his foemen, then at 
earth’s choicest place perform his worship.”’ 

Sudas is said to have defeated a confederacy of the Ajas, Yakshus 
and Shigrus on the Yamuna® and an assemblage of the Yadu-Turvashas, 
Bhrigus, Druhyus, l?akthas, Bhalanas, Alinas, Shivas, Vishanins, 
Purus and Anus, led by Simyu, Purodas, Purukutsa, Kavasha etc., on 
the Ravi®, and ranked as the undisputed emperor of the Sapta- 
sindhu region, But his successors were not equal to the task 
of maintaining his empire and the Puru king Trasadasyu worsted 
them and wrested the Sarasvati-Drishadvati region from their 
kingdom. ^ Eventually the Purus and the Bharatas mixed and merged 
into one people, but the Kuirus and Panchalas exercised relentless 
pressure on them and the former occupied their territory.^® 

Though the word Kuru occurs in the Rigveda as component 
of the names of some persons like Kaurayana and Kurushravana, the 
Kuru tribe is not expressly mentioned in it. But in the Atharvaveda 
and the Brahmanas the Kurus figure as a very prominent people, who 
gave their name to Kurukshetra and made it the home of Vedic cul- 
ture. According to i\itBrahmana texts, its speech was best and purest 
and its mode of sacrifice was ideal and perfect 

6. Vajasneyi Samhita, XI, 3, 3 

7. Rigveda,m,5Z,n 

Km w ^ w n 

8. Ibid,, VII, 18, 19 

9. Ibid, VII, 18, 8—13 

10. Buddha Prakash, The Rigveda and the Indus Valley Civilization, pp. 100-110 

11, Panchavimsha Brahmana XXV, Shatapatha Brahmana,Vj,\, 5,13; 

Aitareya Brahmana, VII, 30; Jaiminiya Brahmana. Ill, 12$. 

Pauranika tradition ascribes the virtual reclamation of the 
Sarasvati-Drishadvati region to the Kurus. The Vamana Purana states 
that king Kuru ploughed the field of Kurukshelra with a ploughshare 
of gold drawn by the Nandi of Shiva and reclaimed an area of seven 
kroshas- Side by side, he laid down the code of conduct for its people 
based on the practice of the eight virtues of truthfulness {satya), 
penance {iapas)s forgiveness {ksTiama)^ compassion {daya)^ purity 
{shaucha)i charity {dam), composure {yoga) and continence {brahma- 
charya). Combining manual labour with moral advance, he remarked 
that by cultivating the land he was developing the eight 
virtues.^® His body, hands and head, was the source of material 
prosjperity as well as spiritual uplift. This Kuru king is the symbol 
of thousands of people who dedicated themselves to the task of rais- 
ing the economic and cultural standard of their country. Giving it 
the form of a myth, the Vamana Purana says that Vishnu divided the 
right and left hands of king Kuru into one thousand parts so that 
the one became the many and his industry became the endeavour of 
millions. This Kuru code of conduct stressing intense physical 
exertion and associating it with deep moral fervour and profound 
spiritual transformation is the corner-stone of Indian culture as 
adumbrated in the Bhagavadgitd and other texts. 

The Mahabharata knows Hariyana as the land of plentiful 
grains {bahiidhanyaka) and immense riches {bahudhana). The 
account of the expeditioo of Nakula relates that he advanced on 
Rohtak {Rohitaka) full of horses, cattle, wealth and crops and 
blessed by the god Karttikcya, the generalissimo of the army of the 
gods, and had a severe contest with the Mattamayuras. From there 
he marched to the other end of the region comprising the deserts 
and reduced the city of Sirsa {Sairishaka)^^. Then he plunged into 
the Panjab and fought with the Shibis, Trigartas, Ambashthas, Malavas 

12. Vamana Purana, XXII, 24-25. 


1 3. Mahabharata (Cr. ed.) IL 29 j 3-5. 


^ II 

etc. Many features of this account agree with those of ‘^Yaudheya 
coinage. On these coins we find the figure of Kumara Karttikeya, 
showing that he was the tutelary god of these people. As the peacock 
is the vehicle of this god, it is prominently depicted on these coins. 
It may, therefore, be presumed that the Yaudheyas had a special 
regard for the peacock which seems to underlie the epithet Matta^ 
mayura used for the people of Rohlak in the Mahabharaia. Besides 
this, the name Bahudhanyaka, given to this region, also occurs on the 
Yaudheya coins. Thus it appears that the aforesaid account of 
Hariyana in the Great Epic refers to the period of the ascendency of 
the Yaudheyas. 

It has been stated above that on account of its strategic posi- 
tion Hariyana occupied a key position in the political history of 
India from very early times. The stability of the empires of northern 
India depended on a firm control over it. In the Maurya period it 
naturally formed part of the Magadhan empire as the discovery of 
northern black polished ware at Sugh and the pillars of Ashoka at 
Topra and Hissar and his stupas at Chaneti and Thanesar indicates. 
After the break-up of the Maurya empire, the inroads of the foreign 
peoples, like the Bactrians, Greeks, Parthians, Scythians and Kushanas, 
spread confusion in North India and threw Hariyana in the melting 
pot. The inscriptions in Kushana characters on the pillars from 
Amin lying in the temple of Thakurji on the west bank of Surajkund 
as well as the coins of that period, found at several places, are 
instances in point. But soon the Yaudheyas, representing an old 
Indo-Iranian clan, rose up and repelled the rule of the Kushanas from 
the region between the Sutlej and the Yamuna. Their coins and seals, 
found abundantly over this region, reveal that Sunet and Rohtak 
were their seats of power and they had an oligarchical— cum— 
republican type of organisation. In weight and fabric Yaudheya 
coins agree with the Kushana pieces showing that they replaced them 
after the overthrow of their rule. The worship of the warlike Skanda 
indicates their martial vigour and bellicose spirit, which stood them 
in good stead in the struggle with formidable rivals. 

In the first half of the fourth century Chandragupta I and 
Samudragupta reconstituted and consolidated the Magadhan empire 
and in that process annexed Hariyana also. The Allahabad Pillar 
Inscription expressly states that the Yaudheyas submitted to 
5amudra^upta and eventually their kinpidom formed part of the 




Gupta empire. But the folk-culture of^ ttariyana continued to 
flourish and exercise a fascination in the fashionable circles of the 
metropolitan centres. We learn from a contemporary text that the 
drummers of Rohtak used to attract crowds of hundreds by their 
folk-music, played in Yaudheya tunes to the accompaniment of lutes, 
set with sheets of bronze, in the bazaars of distant Ujjain.^*. It is 
significant that the folk culture of the Yaudheyas not only main- 
tained its identity but also made its mark on the life of the whole 
country in the Gupta period. 

Tn the sixth century the Gupta empire broke down. About 510 
the Hunas, led by Toramana, swooped from the North-West and 
sacked cities and religious establishments from Sanghol in Ludhiana 
district to Kaushambi near Allahabad. Obviously they passed through 
Hariyana leaving some settlements, like Jaula, which bears the name 
of their ruling clan, called Jau(b}la or Jaula, there. From Kaushambi 
the Hunas moved towards Eran in Madhya Pradesha, on one hand, 
and marched on Kashi and Pataliputra, on the other. For well over a 
couple of decades they were paramount in India. But in the thirties the 
Vardbanas of Mandasor rose under Yashodharman Vishnuvardhana and 
ousted the Hunas from the Indian plains, pushing them into north- 
western retreats. The successor of Yashodharman Vishnuvardhana, 
named Dravyavardhana, ruled as the paramount sovereign from 
Ujjain, assuming the title of maharajadhiraja. After a reign of about 
a quarter of a century his empire crumbled and his feudatories 
became assertive. The later Gupta ruler Mahasenagupta occupied 
eastern Malwa and ^the Kalachuri king Shankaragana pounced upon 
Ujjain, from where he issued his Abhona plates dated 596-7 A.D.^® 
Sometime, towards the later part of that century, the Vardhana 
house of Thanesar, called Pushpabhuti, also rose in prominence. The 
first two rulers of this house Naravardhana and Rajyavardhana were 
ordinary feudatories, but the third ruler Adityavardhana enhanced 
his power by marrying Mahasenagupta, probably the sister of 
Mahasenagupta of the later Gupta dynasty, who, as said above, con- 
quered eastern Malwa. Adityavardhana*s son Prabhakara vardhana 
further expanded his realm and followed a bold policy, which made 
him the paramount ruler of the Panjab and the North-West, Instead 

14. Chaturhbani (ed. V.S. Agrawala and Motichandra), p. 168. 


15. Buddha Prakash, Aspects of Indian History and CmUzation, pp. 94-954 



of antagonising the Maukhans of itanauj at the instance of the 
later Guptas, he made friends with them and married his daughter 
Rajyashri to their prince Grahavarman . The Maukharis also assisted 
him in his struggle against the Hunas by despatching their powerful 
elephant corps, which “threw aloft in battle the troops of the 
Hunas”, as the Aphsad inscription of Adityasena states.^® With 
their support, Prabhakaravardhana not only vanquished the Hunas 
but also tightened h's grip over the Indus region and asserted his in- 
fluence over Gandhara and put down the turbulent Gurjaras.^^ Besides 
this, he inflicted a defeat on the ruler of Lata and dealt a shattering 
blow to the power of the later Guptas^®, We may presume that just 
as the Maukharis helped Prabhakaravardhana in crushing the Hunas, 
similarly the latter assisted them in liquidating the later Guptas, who 
were a constant thorn by their side. The fact that Prabhakaravar- 
dhana broke off with the later Guptas who were his relatives and with 
whom his family had old friendship, shows how greatly he prized the 
alliance and cooperation of the Maukharis of KanauJ who were on 
the road to imperial greatness in northern India. Yet, after defeating 
the later Gupta ruler of Malwa, he took his young sons Kumaragupta 
and Madhavagupta under his patronage and treated them affectiona- 
tely in his court,^® 

Under the Vardhana rulers Hariyana, then called Shrikantha 
janapada on account of its association with a Naga chief Shrikantha,®® 
reached the peak of progress. In the early seventh century the 
court poet of Harshavardhana, Bana, and the Chinesejpilgrim Yuan 
Chwang, gave adequate details of its people and their pursuits, which 
enable us to form a clear idea of its economic, social and cultural 

The secret of the prosperity of this region was the fertility of 
its soil which its people skilfully exploited. In it one could see the 

16. J.F. Fleet, Corpus Inscriptiomm Indicarum, Vol. Ill, pp. 200, verse 

I . , 

17. HarjAac/rar//aofBanabhatta, ed. Jivananda, p. 342 

18. Ibid., 

39. Ibid., p. 412 

20. Ibid., p. 319 jffTirTqi ^5| 

km i . 



clearing the mushroom growth of land lotuses excited the tumult of 
bees which seemed to be singing the excellence of the soil.^^ Wells 
and wheels supplied water to the crops®^ and barns were full of high 
heaps of harvests.^® Rippling fields of wheat, paddy, mung, masha and 
sugarcane filled the horizon;®*^ orchards and gardens of plantains and 
pomegranates greeted the eyes;**® shady fruit-bearing trees lined the 
highways.**® The cattle wealth of the country was immense. Herds 
of cattle, tinkling with bells, tied round their necks, filled the 
countryside;®’ herdsmen were seen sprawling on the backs of buffa- 
loes and singing in leisurely and jubilant moods;®® camels were 
trudging here and there and droves of mares wandered freely like 
deer;®® herds of sheep grazed around and cows clashed with arjuna 
trees to reach the ponds to drink water. Monkeys and parrots®*^ 
and birds and bees had their heyday in groves and gardens. 


working on the ploughs everywhere. The ploughshares 







In that country of gaiety and plenty, the people were good- 
natured, hospitable and magnanimous, devoted to their duties and 
shuning confusion of castes or cadres.®® They adhered to meritori- 
ous conduct, abhorred false doctrines®® and avoided sin and sacri- 
lege Healthy in body and spirit, they knew no disease, epidemic or 
premature death®® and led a life of fruitful activity and high ideals.®® 

The capital of that region was the splendid ci|y of Sthanvishvara 
(Thanesar) about which Bana says : 

21. Ibid., p. 257 ?45r^Fr5r5rf5rci«fr 

22. Ibid., p. 258 I 

23. Ibid.f p. 257 

24. Ibid., p. 258 I 

25. Ibid., p. 260 ^ I p. 261 

26. Ibid,, p. 261 I 

28 . Ibid , p. 258 i 

29. Ibid., p. 262 I 

30. Ibid,, p. 261 ^ 

31. Ibid., p, 260 ■■ 



“Sages entitled it a hefmitag^, couHezans a lovers^ retr^^t, 
actors a concert hall, foes the city of death, seekers of wealth the 
land of the philosopher’s stone, sons of the sword the soil of heroes, 
aspirants to knowledge the preceptor’s home, singers the Gandhar- 
vas’ city, scientists the great Artificer’s temple, merchants the land 
of profit, bards the gaming house, good men the gathering of the 
virtuous, refugees the cage of adamant, libertines the Rogue’s Meet, 
wayfarers the reward of their good deeds, treasure seekers the mine, 
quietists the Buddhist monastery, lovers the Apsaras* city, trouba- 
dours the festival congress, Brahmanas the stream of wealth.”®^ 

t In this city of richness and variety people followed divers 
avocations with profit and success, as the above description shows. 
Busy bazaars, well equipped emporia, elegant temples, splendid 
palaces, artists’ studios, sculptors* workshops, colleges and schools 
and religious meets and social get-togethers characterized the com- 
position of this city. People followed the Shaiva cults combined 
with Vedic sacrifices and tinged with popular fetishes. If in houses 
and hermitages Brahmanas practised the Vedic rituals, in temples 
people worshipped Shiva and other gods and in wayward retreats 
occultists performed their horrid rites. 

About the women of this city Bana observes ; “Their eyes are 
a natural wreath, the garland of lotus leaves are a mere burden. 
The images of their curls in the convex of their cheeks are ear-pen* 
dents that give no trouble. Their cheeks alone give a perpetual 
sunshine. Their voices alone are their sweet lutes. The gleam of 

32. p. 257 | 

33. iud,i p. 264 m ^ i 

34. Ibid., p. 265 ^ I 

35. Ibid., p. 266 ^ 

36. Ibid., p. 257 wq i 

37. Ibid., pp. 268-9 q: 



their lips is a more brilliant cosmetic. Their arms are the softest of 
playfully smiting wands.”38 

Like Bana, Yuan Chwang has also given a glowing description 
of the Sthanvishvara region. He said that it was above 7000 li in 
circuit and its capital, with the same name, was above 20 li in 
circuit. The soil was rich and fertile, the crops were abundant and 
the climate was warm. The rich families vied with each other in 
extravagence. The people were greatly devoted to magical arts and 
highly prized outlandish accomplishments : the majority pursued 
trade and few were given to farming (the pilgrim’s observation and 
experience were confined to cities only). Rarities from other lands 
were collected in the country. There were three Buddhist monas- 
teries with above 700 professed Buddhists, all Hinayanists. There 
were also above 100 Daiva (Brahmamical) temples and the non- 
Buddhists were many numerous. The capital was surrounded |for 200 
// by a region called Fu-H {Dharmahshetra) meaning the ‘Place of 
Religious Merit.’®® 

The death of Harsha in 647—8 A. D. unleashed a storm of 
fissi parous forces which engulfed the whole of North India. What 
became of Shrikantha or Hariyana is not precisely known but it 
appears that people from the north, Hunas and Turks, hovered 
over it in course of their sallies into the Panjab. Hence towards the 
end of that century we find Yashovarman of Kanauj campaigning in 
Shrikantha, Marudesha and Kurukshetra^® in course of his conquests 
calculated to resuscitate the empire of Kanauj. This king consoli- 
dated his hold over the North-West and appointed a special officer, 
called Udichipati, there to control the Turks, as his title pratita^tikina in 
the Nalanda Inscription indicates. But Yashovarman’s empire proved 

38. Ibid^y p. 270—2 



39. Thomas Watters, 0/1 Yuan Chwang*s Travels in Indiafpp,3U’— 16, 

40. of Vakpatiraja, verses 434. 

xq f^fT RRq 3<r i 

short-lived, for King Lalitaditya Muktapida of Kashmira, who did not 
relish his paramountcy over the Panjab, openly broke ofif with him 
at the instance of the Turki Shahi princes, that had taken refuge in 
Kashmira, and marched on Kanauj at the head of a vast army and 
inflicted a smashing defeat on him. The kingdom of Kanuaj from 
the Yamuna to the Kalika came under the control of the Kashmiri 
monarch *‘as if it were the courtyard of his palace.*’*^ But the end of 
Lalitaditya quickly followed and his weak successors could not main- 
tain his empire. Hariyana again fell a victim to political anarchy. 

In the later part of the eighth century or the beginning of the 
ninth we find the Pala emperor of Bengal, Dharmapala (c. 770 — 810), 
holding a durbar at Kanauj on the occasion of the installation of his 
nominee Chakrayudha in place of Indrayudha, and inviting, among 
others, the king oi* Kuru, to attend Whether this meant the 
assertion of Pala paramountcy over Hariyana or the Kuru country we 
do not know, but Dharmapala certainly gave it a colouring of his 
imperial dignity. However, the dream of empire, entertained by the 
Palas, was soon shattered when the Gurjara-Pratihara king Nagabhatta 
II. (c. 795—833) advanced on Kanauj, dethroned Chakrayudha, and 
made it the seat of his empire. Soon afterwards, he defeated 
Dharmapala and sieved the forts of the kings of Anarta,Malava, Kirata, 
Turushka, Matsya etc. Obviously, he occupied Hariyana also, which 
formed a part of the Gurjara-Pratihara empire till its end. The Pehova 
inscription^*, dated 276 Harsha era or 882 A. D., recording an agree- 
ment, voluntarily entered into by some horse-dealers, whereby they 
and their customers undertook to pay certain titles and taxes for the 
maintenance of temples and sanctuaries, shows that this region was 
included in the empire of Bhoja of the Gurjara-Pratihara dynasty. 
Likewise, another inscription from that place, recording the cons- 
truction of a temple of Vishnu by some members of the Tomara 
family, descending from Raja Jaula, shows that this reign was under 
the effective sway of Mahendrapala of that dynasty. During this 
period the princes of the Tomara family; Purnaraja, Devaraja 

41. Jiajataranginl of Kalhana, IV, 145. 

42. Bhagalpur Plate of Narayanapala, Indian Antiquary t Vol XV. p. 304 
Khallmpur Plate of Dharmapala, Epigraphia Indica, Vo! IV, p. 243. 

43. Epigraph^a Indica, Vol. T, pp. 


GUMPSES .of. ancient HARl YANA 

and Gogga they took service under the Pratiharas and initiated a line of 
powerful feudatories who became independent during the dismember- 
ment of the Pratihara empire. One of the Tomara rulers, Anangapala, 
founded the city of Delhi and made it the capital of Hariyana, a fact 
which lends colour to the claim of the people of Hariyana Pranta 
that Delhi in fact belongs to them and should be included in their 
state. The successors of Anangapala, Tejapala, Madanapala, Kritapala, 
Lakhanapala and Prithvipala, were rulers of note. In the twelfth 
century the Chahamana ruler Arnoraja (1133—51) defeated the 
Tomaras by invading Hariyana or the Haritanaka country mentioned 
in his Ajmere Museum Prashasti. However, Bisaladeva Chahamana 
finally conquered Delhi and Hariyana about 1156^*. 

During the period of Pratihara rule Hariyana reached the peak 
of progress in trade, art and culture. We get a graphic picture of its 
life in the Yashastilakachampu of Somadeva, written in the tenth 

Somadeva says that the Yaudheya country, meaning the 
Hariyana region, was like an ornament of the earth and was replete 
with all requisites of good and happy life^S Its people, having all 
objects, necessary for the pursuit of religion {dharma), material gain 

{arthd), bodily pleasure (kama) and spiritual liberation {moksla)^ 
lived as it were in a heaven.^® Its villages were full of catlle-wealth, 
cows, buffaloes, goats, sheep, camels, horses.*’ Abundance of 
irrigation works rendered them free from the vagaries of rains 
(adevamatriTca). Their well-watered fields of black soil (krishnabhu- 
maydh), settled by subjects of all the eighteen categories, were green 
with harvests and gardens.*® They yielded such bouncing harvests 
that the farmers were unable to thresh and stack them properly.*’ 

44. Dasharatha Sharma, ‘The Tomara Kingdom of Delhi’ (in Hindi), 
Rajasthana Bharati pp, 17-24. 

45. Yasha^tilalcmJimnpu of Somadeva (ed. Sundar Lai Shastri, 
Varanasi I960) p. 8. 

m mil i 

46. Ibid.t 

Ibid., p. 9 ^:i q#ddT- 

Tho bulk of the people consisted of working classes, artisans and 
peasants (nakshatradvija) who were hospitable and magnanimous 
(atithiprarihanamanorathah). However, the burden of taxation on 
them was high which they had to bear without demur (bhartriJcara- 
sambadhasahah). Yet they were devoted to their rulers and were 
devotees of Karttikeya, the generalissimo of the gods,^® Their 
villages and settlements were devoid of rocks or stones and cleared of 
thorns or bushes and were so near to each other as to be within the 
reach of cooks {kukkutasampatyah)^^. Their ladies, robust and 
handsome, laden with ornaments and dressed in tight garments, 
worked in farms and fields and attracted the notice of the travellers.^® 
The peaceful and contented life of the people was" proof against 
social frictions so that the order of castes and callings was quietly 
maintained and people respected the varnaslirama dharma.^^ 

The metropolis of the region was Rajapura, perhaps, modern 
Rajpura, near Ambala. Its high mansions defied the mountains of 
snow. Its temples spoke to the skies and their golden turrets talked 
to the divine beings®^ In them the figures of lions, set with jewels, 
gave impression of real ones/^ and the paintings on pillars and walls 
were superb. Big mirrors adorned the walls of these sanctuaries, 
inlay work executed there presented a multicoloui;ed’ atmosphere, 
playing fountains and ponds, full of ducks and swans, added to the 
romance of their surroundings, and chirping birds, responding to the 
bells of the flag-standards, filled the air with soft notes. The city 
was protected by a rampart and a moat cordoned with iron chains.®* 

47. Ihid.f p. 11 

5 ^: 1 1 

45. Ibid , p. 10 ^ I 

49. lbid‘i p. 10 

mv I 

50. Ibid., p. 10 

51. Ibid., p. II ^ ^ i 

52. Ibid , p. 12 


53. Ibid., p. 11 

54. Ibid, p, 14. 



eWMPSE? OF ancient HARJY^NA 

its t>eopie enjoyed tlie gay festivals, like Cupid^s Carnival, and were 
exuberant with festivity and rejoicing. 

This description gives a picture of the gaiety, affluence and 
splendour of the people of the Hariyana region in the Pratihara 
period. The remains of the numerous temples and . sculptures of 
that age, specially the Brahma-Sarasvati and the Shiva-Parvati images, 
reproduced in the plates given here, show Indian art at its best. 
That Thanesar was a centre of lithic art is manifest from the remark 
of Ban a that sculptors were busy chiselling and carving stones there 
for building purposes. The aforesaid Pehova inscriptions refer to 
the construction of the shrine of Vishnu during the reign of Mahendra- 
pala. Recently some pieces of sculpture belonging to some Vishnu 
temple have come to light in Pehova, which throw a flood of light bn 
the art and iconography of the Pratihara period. Whether these 
sculptures belong to the temple, referred to in the said Pehova inscrip- 
tion, cannot be precisely said, but it goes without doubt that they 
pertain to some prominent Vishnu temple of the Pratihara period raised 
- in that city. Plate I and II reveal a massive disc and mace respectively, 
which a big figure of Vishnu was shown holding in hands. The size pf 
these objects suggest that the said figure must have been of appreciable 
dimensions. On both sides of the figure there were panels depicting 
Shiva-Parvati and Brahma-Sarasvati. Plate I shows Shiva and Parvati 
reclining on the Nandi. One hand of Shiva touches the left breast 
of Parvati and the right arm of Parvati rests on the right shoulder of 
Shiva. The bull, raising his head joyously, looks bn. The features 
of the divine couple are well iDodelled and chiselled and their ex- 
pression is marked by a unique composure and serenity. The 
makara below emits a scroll which consists of attendants in various 
poses. Plate II shows Brahma and Sarasvati in a similar pose. 
Brahma has three heads and a protuberant belly and seems to be in 
vitarka mudra. The central face is bearded. The full beard and 
moustache give a grandeur to the burly face. The whole composi- 
tion is characterized by grave profundity and equilibrium. The 
erotic pose does not lead to a sensual expression. The figure is 
stamped with deep integration [yoga) coupled to creative dynamism. 
The row of attendants invests the scene with a cosmic fulness. In 
both these sculptures the limbs are well shaped, the lineaments clear 
and the faces mature and expressive. What impresses the onlooker 
in them is that natural exuberance is synthesized with spiritual 
expressiveness. Plate III is another figure of Shiva and Parvati found 



on the bank ot the river Sarsuti three miles from the Kurukshetra 
railway station. Here the tranquil composite of Plate I is replaced 
by a trenchent agitation expressed through the curving and upraised 
neck of the elastic figure of the bull and the wavy bends of the 
limbs of the god and the goddess as well as the mobile turns of the 
drapery. However, the faces are wrapt in rapturous concentration. 
Plate IV is a graceful figure of a contemporary man of culture and 
taste. His limbs are well shaped and proportioned. He wears a 
necklace, an ekavali and bracelets and holds a lotus flower in his 
right hand and bends the left one towards the knee to support the 
bend of the loin cloth which gently curves along the knees above the 
pleats of the tight fastenings on the two thighs with the embroidery 
looking like a linear button-design marking the front. The end of 
the girdle hangs in a lappet between the thighs. An elaborately 
embroidered uttariya of creeper design waves across the left arm and 
touching the shins, is thrown over the right part which is unfortunately 
broken. The whole pose of the figure is instinct with a dramatic 
quality and au aesthetic dynamism. Its grace, balance and elegance 
reveal the finesse, taste and culture of the people of that age. The 
stone seems to have melted into softness in the hands of the artist 
and enabled him to mould it into a mellifluous human figure. 

The aforesaid specimens®® of the art of Hariyana show that in 
the ninth and tenth century it saw the moontide splendour of art 
and culture during Pratihara-Tomara rule. The classic traditions of 
Indian art were cultivated and developed at its principal centres, 
Pehova and Thanesar, into a potent medium of aesthetic creativity- 
Here we are not handicapped by that exuberance, commercialism 
and imitation that characterize the large-scale manufacture of iconic 
figures and decorative motifs in later Indian art. Everything is 
natural, simple, graceful, yet fulsome, vigorous and expressive. 
This art is an index to the cultural advance of the people of 
Hariyana in ancient times. 

55. I am indebted to my research scholar Shri Kisbore Kumar Sakscna 
M.A., Dip. Arch., an enthusiastic and painstaking investigator/ for photo- 
graphing the figures and preparing the plates reproduced here. 



Dr. HARI RAM GUPTA, M.A„ Ph. D., D. Litt. . 

Hariyana is bounded on the north by the Shiwalik Hills, 
and in the east by the river Yamuna. The Aravalis running south 
of Delhi and through Gurgaon district up to Alwar, and farther 
on the desert of Bikaner form its south-western boundary. To 
the west it is bounded half-way by Ghaggar and for the rest by 
the line drawn across Sirhind in northerly direction to the Shiwalik 

This fact is testified by the Punjab Administration Report, 
1892-93, which on page 14 states : ‘*A line drawn through Sirhind 
from north to south marks the Panjab from India proper. That is 
why the city of Sirhind is called the head of India (Sar and Hind). 
To the east of it is the Hindi speaking area and to the west the 
Punjabi speaking region.*’ 

Hariyana seems to be a corrupted form of the word Aryana, 
the home of Ary as, like Rajputana, the land of Rajputs, Bhattiana, 
the abode of Bhattis and Ludhiana, the habitat of Lodis, all these 
being situated in the same region contiguous to one another. 
The other three places are called after the people inhabiting them, 
such as Rajputs, Bhattis and Lodis. It therefore does not appeal 
to reason that Hariyana should be named after greenery or an 
individual like Harish Chandra or even after God (Hari) as there 
are not many temples in this area. Also it could not be known 
after Ahirs who are mainly confined to a part of Gurgaon district, 
just a fraction of the vast region covered by it. 

early man lived HER 

Heaven and earth seldom combined and God rarely agreed to 
create a better habitation for man than ancient Hariyana. In 
the remotest past, its geographical situation was somewhat diflferent. 
This region and the Punjab were separated from the rest of India 
by sea. It lay where now exists the deserts of Rajasthan and lower 
§md^ This sea coyered a large part of the Ganp b^sin an^ 



extended as far as Assam^. In the north, the geologists say, the 
lower ranges of the Himalayas were covered with snowi Due to 
these two factors, the climate of the region was cold and enjoyable. 
And this should account for the earliest habitation of man in this 
region. Dr. Guy E. Pilgrim discovered certain teeth and part of a jaw 
in the lower Shiwalik hills. After scientific examination of these, 
he concluded that one and a half crore years ago the early man 
lived in the Pinjore region round about Chandigarh.*^ This confirms 
the Indian traditions which regard this regionas the martix of creation 
and civilization. It is the site of the northern altar where Brahma 
performed the prestine sacrifice from which the creation arose.® 

But Hariyana not only claims the honour to be the cradle 
of man, it also served as the cradle of civilization. India saw the 
dawn of civilization in the regions of Indus valley and that of the 
Sarasvati. Discovery of pieces of pottery-jars, vessels, dishes, the terra- 
cotta noduls, bangles, beads of gold, copper and bronze implements 
belonging to the Indus valley civilization, in this region bears a testi- 
mony to it.* 

Our recorded history begins with Aryans. Several Indian 
historians particularly Professor Abinash Chandra Das® and Dr, 
Radha Kumud Mookerji are of the view that the original home of 
the Aryans was the Hariyana region. The banks of Sarasvati were 
their earliest settlement and it was from here that they migrated to 
different parts of India, Asia and Europe.® The following prayer 
to the Sarasvati, contained in the Rigveda confirms their going to 
dther countries : 

Guide us Sarasvati, to glorious treasure. 

Refuse us not thy milk, nor spurn us from thee. 

1. Abinash Chandra Das, JRigvedic India, pp. 5, 6, 150. 

2. New Shivalik Primates and their bearing on the question of the 
evolution of man and the anthoropoides. Records of the Geological survey of 
India, 1915, VoI,XIV,pp. 2-61. 

Dr, S, A>,Q. Husalni in The Economic History of India, I, p. ix, puts the age 
of this early man here at three crores of yeare, 

3. Dr, Buddha Prakasb, Hariyana Research Journal, Vol, I, No, 1, 3, 

4. It Is reported that many remains of the Indus valley civilization are pre- 
served at the Hariyana Archaeological Museum at Jhajjar (Rohtak). 

5. Abinash Chandra Das, p. 182 ; Radha Kumud Mookerji, Indian History 
Congress Proceedings, XV (Gwalior) Session. 1952, his presidential address. 

Munshi. The Glory that was Gurjara Desha, Pt. I, Section II and 
The History and Culture of the Indian People, Vol. I, p. 215. ^ 



Gladly accept our friendship and obedience ; 
let us not go from thee to distant countries^. 

The reasons as to why the earliest Aryans inhabited this region 
are many. The early Aryans needed water, fuel, rice, barley, milk 
and ghi, grass for their animals, and temperate climate. No better 
place than this region could be found for all these things. Here 
water was available in plenty as the land was watered by many rivers 
and a number of streams. There were dense forests on all sides. 
Nine vanas (forests) existed along the course of the Sarasvati— 
Aditvana, Kamayakavana, Madhuvana, Phalkuvana, Prithuvana, 
Salonvana, Sitavana, Surajvana, and Vyasvana®. They supplied 
fire wood in abundance to keep the sacrificial fire burning without 
any break throughout life. The soft and alluvial soil yielded rich 
crops. Plentiful pastures existed for the herds. Besides ghi, the 
Aryans required kusha grass and skins of black antelope for divine 
service. All those things were found here in abundance®. 

The river Sarasvati was the life and soul of the early Aryans, 
It was a large, magnificent and mighty river. It rose in the 
Himalayas and flowed into the sea with great velocity. Its waters 
flooded the country around. Pure drinking water and rich crops 
were suplied by her to the Aryans. In the ancient literature, it has 
been called the mother of the Indus, a beautiful and powerful 
goddess, the giver of riches and food. It was the biggest river not 
only in Hariyana but in the wnole of north-western India. A 
hymn from the Rigveda speaks of her thus : 

This Sarasvati, firm as a city made of iron, 
flows rapidly with life-giving water. 

She sweeps away in her might all other waters, 
as a charioteer clears the road. 

Sarasvati, chief and parent of rivers flows from 
the mountains to the ocean. 

May the auspicious and gracious Sarasvati listen 
to our praises at this sacrifice. 

We approach her in reverence with bended knees. 

We present to thee, Sarasvati, these oblations 
with reverence. 

7. VI, 61, 14. 

8. Hariyana Research Journal, Vol. I, No. 1, p. 2. 

9. H. C. Chakladhar, The Aryan Occupation of Eastern India, p. 2, 



Be gratified by our praise, and may we ever 

recline upon thee as upon a sheltering tree.*’^° 

The Sarasvati is described as ‘The best of mothers, the best 
of rivers, and the best of all goddesses’^ The ancient Aryans clung 
to her in love and security as a child clings to its mother’s breast. 
They prayed again and again that they should not be obliged to 
leave her banks.^^ 

All the Vedic sacrifices were performed on her banks. It was 
here that the Aryans composed hymns and gained spiritual know- 
ledge. She became the home of learning. A mantra in the Rigveda 
says : “Sarasvati, the inspirer of truthful word, the instructress of 
the right-minded, has accepted our sacrifice”. In another mantra it 
is stated : “May Sarasvati deserve the praise of the learned hymn- 
makers ; Sarasvati who is the most famous among her seven sisters 
by her greatness and valiant deeds, who has got the greatest velocity 
of all rivers, and is adorned with many excellent qualities on account 

of her superiority. 

In another hymn Sarasvati is raised to the position of the 
highest god : “May the fortunate Sarasvati be pleased to listen to 
our hymns at this sacrifice ! May the adorable G3ds approach her 
with bent knees, who is rich in everlasting wealth and kind to her 

“O fortunate Sarasvati I Vasisht is opening for thee the door 
to the hall of sacrifice. Prosper, thou white Goddess. 


Ancient Aryans believed in simple living and high thinking 
and did not set much store by material monuments like the pyramids 
of Egypt. They built up monuments of thought instead.The best of 
all their such monuments is the Rigveda. 

The bulk of Rigveda was composed by the Aryans in Hari- 
yana.^ The special place, where “most noble deeds” were materia- 

10. Rigveda, II, 95 (Wilson. IV, p. 190). 

11. Ibid,, VI, 61, 14. 

12. Abinash Chandra Das, p. 76. 

13. Ibid., p, 17. 

14. Rigveda, VIT, 95. 

15. Hopkins, JA.O,S„ XIX, pp, 19-28 ; Keith, CHI, Vol. I. p. 79 ; Vedic 

Vol. I, p. 468 ; Also see Winternitz, History of Indian Literature,!, p, 

63 ; Pischel and Geldner, Vedic Studies, 11, p. 18 ; III, p, 152. 



^ lized was Brahmavarta* It was the land lying between the upper 
^ courses of the Drishadvati and the Sarasvati, stretching from the 
foot of the Shtwalik Hills. It was considered to be the God>created 
Ian d. Manu says ; “This country was created by the Devatas and 
therefore the sages gave it the name of Brahma varta”^®. This region 
was about 100 kilometres long and from 40 to 70 kilometres wide 


Religious Life. The Aryans found that the rain could grow 
the crops or destroy them. The cOuld ripen the harvest or 
consume it. The wind could blow in their gentle freeze or in a 
violent hurricane. The fire could cook their food or burn it up. 
Hence they wished to please such beings. They personified them 
into deities. Indra was the god of rain and thunder; Agni was the 
goddess of fire and lightning. Vayu was the wind god, and Surya 
the sun god. They worshipped in all thirty-three gods. They lighted 
sacrificial fire early in the morning. They offered milk, ghi, choicest 
food and strong drink to these dieties. They sang sweet songs in 
their praises. After feasting and lauding the gods the worshippers 
expected favours from them. They prayed for health, prosperity, 
long life, abundance of sons and cattle, and rich harvests. 

The beautiful Usha (dawn) removed darkness and brought 
light and life to the whole creation. A large number of hymns are 
addresred to goddess Usha : 

“Here comes Usha, like a lovely young maiden who is full of 

“The whole creation bows to her as the fair damsel brings light. 
The rich daughter of Heaven draws away the hatred and expells the 
godless enemies.” 

“Come here Usha, daughter of Heaven, and shine with de- 
lightful brightness, bringing to us plentiful prosperity.”.^* 

Indra, the god of rain and thunder, is worshipped for his 
goodness and anger. His thunder brings rain and destroys the wicl^e4 

16. Mam, Dhram Shasfra, 11, 

17. Ibid. 

18. Rigveda, I, 48, 5. 

19^ /W</.,I,48, 8, 

■ 24 



and the sinner. A hymn in the Rigveda says : “Indra is our friend 
and ally with his powerful mace against our enemies.**®® 

“O, bestower of all our good, you give rain by piercing the 
clouds. You never refused our prayer.’’^^ 

*'0, Indra ! we are well-armed because we are protected by 
you. We shall conquer the enemy with your help.’*®® 

Social life. Life led by ancient Aryans was partly pastoral and 
partly agricultural. They lived in villages, A village was inhabited 
by several families. The head of a family was called Kulapa. Each 
family consisted of a number of house-holders or Grahapatis. They 
were independent of one another. They held separate houses, fields, 
and other property and earned their livelihood by independent 
means Grahapatni was the mistress of the household. The head 
of the village was known as Oramani. They worshipped the same 
jgods, followed similar customs and manners, and led life alike. 

Some persons kept their milch cows and buffaloes inside the 
compound of their houses. It is clearly stated that when the house- 
wife or the grown-up daughter with a bucket in hand advanced to- 
wkds the cow to milk it, the cow lowed inviting its calf who in res- 
ponse lowed also, anxious to be let loose from its tether. The 
peculiar gurgling sound of milking produce a music of its own. 
Besides, if is mentioned that the children played with the calf in merry- 
making. Most of the families preferred to keep their cows in a 
common fence in the heart of the village. To this place repaired the 
maiden-daughters accompanied by their brothers at milk times. There 
the boys and girls went into peals of laughter at a joke or some witty 
remarks. Milking was ordinarily attended by the eldest unmarried 
daughter. The cows which were out of milk were tied in Gosthas 
situated outside the village, A hymn in the Rigveda describes the 
disturbed night spent by the owner of cows : '^The cows had settled 
in their gostha ; the beasts of prey had sought their lairs, Extinguish- 
ed were the lights of men, when things unseen infected me.’*®* 

The villages were surrounded by grain fields. Rice, barley, beans 

20. lA/d., 1.7, 6. 

21. Ibid. 

22. I, S, 3-4. 

23. Rigveda, I, 191, 4 ; Abinash Chandra Das, p. 121, 



25 ' 

l'$m (LlMUZAmOi^ 


acii sesatmuffl wdre cultivated. Sheep supplied Wool which was ' 
into yarn and then converted into cloth. Weaving was done by Wo-' 
men in their spare time. Carpenters made ploughs, chariots, carts 
and boats. Smiths made implements of agriculture and weapons of 
war. Goldsmiths prepared ornaments. Potters manufactured 
esirthen pots on the wheel. Besides there were men of other profe- 
ssions. The caste system did not exist. 

The villages lay scattered all over the country, some close by 
ah(f others at a distance according to the nature of the land. They 
wefe^ connected by cart roads and footpaths. On all sides there were 
ponds and lakes with full-blown white and pink lotuses floating on 
their bosom. The Aryans were highly pleased with the land of their 
birth, A hymn in the Rigveda says : “The Sindhu is ^ich in horses, 
rich in chariots, rich in clothes, rich in gold ornaments well-made, 
rich in food, rich in wool, ever fresh, abounding in silama plants, 
and the auspicious river (Sarasvati) wears honeygrowing flowers.^^*? 

In Rigveda we find domestic animals like cow, buffalo, goat, 
sheep, horse, ass, dog, came and tamed elephant. Cat is not mention- 
ed' at all.®® 

Metals like silver, gold, copper, iron and bronze were known.®® 
Supply of sugar-cane and honey was abundant. There is no mention 
of salt iri the Rigveda in spite of the fact that a Salt Range exists in^ 
Western Panjab. Barley and rice are given as main articles of food. 
The white lotus was the favourite flower which grew in abundance. 
Lotus stems were used as food.®^ Among birds given in the Rigveda 

24. Rigveda, X, 75, 8 (Wilson tr.); Abinash Chandra Das, p. l4l. 

25. Abinash Chandra Das, p. 196. 

26. Ibid, 

27*- Nearly one ^hundred and fifty years ago the famous' English traveller '* 
William Moorcroft who passed through this region wrote on 2 March 1820 : ‘ . 

^‘Our next day's march soon took us beyond the cultivated belt that 
encloses Dera, and passed through much low jangal intersected by water k 
courses, now mostly dry. Several villages occurred- on either hand. At 
one of these, named Laha, we saw the people pulling up the white stalks - 
of the lotus (Nymphea nehumbo), which they use as a vegetable. They 
are cut in pieces and boiled until tender, when they are taken out and 
squeezed, and put into boiling butter, with some salt, with which they 
are eaten. In this neighbourhood is much landj cultivated for sugar-cane', 
enclosed by fences of a kind of strong grass, to protect the cane from the deer’ 



arc peacocks of green and white coiour, svvan (wamsa) and parrots. 
The famous banyan tree was yet unknow.®® 


This expression was used by Rishi Vishvamitra. The Rigveda 
states that the father ^^ave to his son at the time of his marriage a stro- 
ng and comfortable house to live in. The sage Bharadvaja prays to 
Indra for the gift of a sweet j^home thus : “O Indra ! grant a happy 
home triple refuge, triply strong**. It meant a house consisting of 
three good rooms and made of strong wood, brick and stone. The 
houses of the father and sons were situated within the same com- 
pound surrounded by a wall. Father, mother, sons and daughters-in- 
law lived and dined together. 

The daughter-in-law, though living in separate quarters, attended 
to domestic duties. She took care of her little brothers-in-law, sisters- 
in-law, supervised the work of servants and looked after domestic ani- 
mals. In particular she paid attention to the needs and comforts of 
her husband, mother-in-law and father-in-law. In addition to this a 
happy home must be ringing with the loud laughter, sweet shouts and 
playful pranks of little children. The gods were requested to bless 
the family with children and their long and prosperous life. The house- 
wife was always present at the divine worship, and sang hymns in 
her soft and sweet voice. It was her duty to welcome guests and 
visitors in the absence of men-folk. There was no purdah system. 
Women attended public functions bedecked with fine clothes and 
ornaments, usually a necklace, finger rings and ear rings. They com- 
posed hymns and in some cases attained the rank of tishis. The 
sacred fire was never allowed to go out. Women wore an undergar- 
ment tied in a knot below the navel. Over this a petty-coat was put 
on. The whole body was covered with a shawl as the season was 
cold throughout the year. They dressed their hair in braids, dang- 
ling behind on the back. They wore turbans on their heads. Men 
used an undergarment round their waist, passing between the legs 
and tucked up on the back. The whole body was wrapped with a 
woollen cloth- In mid-winter soft skins bf animals were used. 
Men wore hair long or short. Some shaved their beards, though it 
was in fashion to keep beards and moustaches®®. 

28. Abinash Chandra Das, p. 196. 

29. Rigveda, VII, 1, II, 12; Abinash Chandra Das, p. 215. 




Our government at the present day is based upon the principle 
of secularism. Secularism means paying equal attention to the affairs 
of all the people without any consideration of religious faiths. The 
ancient Aryans did not use the word Hinduism for religion *as applied 
by Christians for Christianity and by Muslims for Islam. They 
used the word Dharma. It did not mean theology or religious 
faith or religious institutions. It stood for a path of life. In 
the Rigveda Dharma means laws, regulating the course of life. 
The Dharma is truth. If a man speaks the truth, he follows the 
Dahrma, By adopting the path of Dharma even a weak man can 
rule a stronger person. 

In the Vedic period the king or state was not under the control 
of Brahmans. The priest was treated with respect. The spiritual 
help offered by his rituals and srcrifices to please gods was welcomed. 
But the king of the state was not in the hands of the priest. Many 
kings opposed the views of the priest in state affairs. In cases of 
disobedience the property of the priest was confiscated. We come 
across bitter curses pronounced by Brahmans against the Kshatriya 
rulers for confiscating their cows and wealth. The other sacred lite- 
rature, Brahmans and Upanishads clearly state that the Kshatriya 
king enjo>s the highest status in society, and that he had the right to 
expel the Brahman priest, who sat lower but next to him. 


India was the first country in the world to conceive the idea of 
democracy and Hariyana provided her with this honourable position. 
Ancient Indians, genius for political organization expressed itself in 
the self-governing village. The village as a unit has a reference even 
in the earliest Rigvedic period. The Gramani or the village head- 
man is mentioned in a hymn of the Rigveda.®® He voted in the elec- 
tion of a king. He presided over the village assembly constituted by 
the villagers themselves, to solve various village problems in the 
interest of the whole village.®^ 

At the state level, the king, a representative of all the people, was 
not like a king of the medieval days. He was under the control of 

30. Rigveda, X, 62, 11 ; 107, 5. 

31, R. C. \ ajumdar. Corporate Life inlAncient India, p. 133, 



the Vidatha or folk-moot. From Vidatha originated three institd- 
tions. Samiti was the modern Lok Sabha, Sahha was the Rajya 
Sabha. Sena wsls a nation in arms. 

The Samiti was an important institution. Immediately before 
the Samiti’s session began the priest held the sacrificial prayer saying : 

'‘Assemble, speak together : Let your minds be all of one 
accord, as ancient gods unanimous sit down to their appointed share. 

The place is common, common the assembly, common the 
mind, so be their thought united. 

A common purpose do I lay before you and worship with your 
general oblation. 

One and the same be your resolve and be your minds of one 

United be the thoughts of all that may happily agree. 

The Sabha and the Sena worked like the Samiti in accordance 
with the democratic principle. 

This in brief is the bird’s-eye-view of the religious, social, eco- 
nomic, and cultural conditions ofHariyana in the earliest days. 
Some of these traditions still prevail as they existed in the hoary past. 
Democracy and secularism are still the leading features of the life of 
the common people in this region. One great proof of the strong 
secular spirit of the people of this area is their tenacity, grit, and 
perseverance in sticking to their old Dharma and religion. Delhi, the 
great capital of the Muslim rulers who dominated this area for about 
700 years is situated in this region. While most of the distant, 
provinces of the Muslim empire, such as Panjab, Kashmir, Sind, 
and East Bengal became predominantly Muslim, the people of 
Hariyana sustained through the greatest upheavals of the time their 
vedic traditions. 

32. Rigveda, X, 191, Griffith's trausJcUion ; R. C. Majumdar, p. 124. 


Dr, BUDDHA PRAKASH, M. A., Ph. D., D, Litt. 

The Bhadanakas are mentioned in the Kavyamimansa of Raja- 
shekhra, together with the Takkas and the inhabitants of Marudesa, 
as the speakers of Ayabhramsha.^ The Skandapurana refers to them 
distinctly from the Tomaras and states that their Kingdom comp- 
rised 100,000 villages.* The sakalatirthastora of Siddhasenasuri puts 
them between Kanauj and Harshapura and mentions Siroha and 
Kammaga as the chief Jaina pilgrimages in their country®. Accord- 
ing to the VividhaiirthakaJpa of Jinaprabhasuri. Siroha was a big 
town on the route from Daulatabad to Delhi.^ On the basis of these 
references Professor Dasharatha Sharma writes that ‘the Bhadanaka 
territory should have comprised the tract including the present 
district of Giirgaon, a part of the Alwar State and the Bhiwani 
Tehsil of the Hissar district.'’^ It is also likely that the Bhadankas 
had their seat of power at what is known after their name as 
Bhadavasa or Bhadavasa five miles to the south of Rewari. That 
tne Bhadanakas were an important power in Haryana is manifest 
from many references to them in the records of the Chauhans. In 
the Bijolia Inscription of the Chauhan king Vigrahraja IV alias 
Bisaladeva, there is a reference to his clash with the Bhadanakas 
and conquests their kingdom, as Professsor Sharma has very aptly 
shown.® Again, the Chauhan monarch Prilhviraja III is said to have 
measured swords with these people and inflicted a crushing defeat 
on them, a poetic account of which is given by Jinapatisuri,’ 

1. Kavyamimansa G.O.S>)p. 51. 

2. Awasthi, A.B.L. Studies in Skanda Parana, part 1, p. 51. 

3. Catalogue of Mss. at Patna (G. O. S.), L P. 156, verses ll-T!, 

4. Vividhatrithakalpa (S. J. G,), p. 95. 

5. Sharma, Dasharatha Early Chauhan Dynasties, p. 92. 

6. Epigraphia, India vol. XXVI, p. 105 verse 19. 

^ : I 

7. Sharma, op. cit. p. 74- 



The question arises as to who these Bhadanakas were. Pro- 
fessor Sharma suggests that they were probably ‘The Ahirs, who 
are known to have been intimately connected with Apabhramsha 
and even now preserve the tradition of having fought against the 
Chauhan rulers Bisaladeva and Prithviraja III.”® But apart from 
the fact that their territory included Ahiravafi which derives its 
name from the Ahirs, we have no evidence to connect the Bhada- 
nakas with these people. The fact that the whole of Hariyana is 
named after the Ahirs,® but has a population consisting of many 
castes and tribes, shows that it is not necessary that a region or 
locality, called after the name of the Ahirs must be inhabited only 
by these people. Thus the residence of the Bhadankas in and near 
Ahinati cannot be the conclusive proof of their being Ahirs. 

The Bhadanaaks are obviously connected with the ancient 
Bhadras who were an important people of Hariyana. In the Maha- 
bharata these Bhadras are bracketed with the Rohitakas and 
Agreyas, the people of Rohtak-Agroha, as well as the Malavas, the 
modern Malvis of Malva, lying between the Ghaggar and the 
Sutlej in East Panjab. They are said to have constituted republics 
or oligarchies which Kama conquered in course of his expeditions 
recorded in the vanparva of the Mahabharata.^^ We may locate 
these Bhadras in the Rewari-Bhiwani region where the village of 
Bhadvasa seems to attest their existence. 

The Bhadras have an unmistakable relation with the Madras. 
At some place in the Mahabharata, bhadra and madra are inter- 
changeably used as variants. For instance, the Adyar Library 
Manuscript, no XXXVB, 131, and the Bombay Government collec- 
tion Manuscripts no 235 and 469 of the Mahabharaia read bhadra 
in place of madra in the line shihitrigartayaudheya rajanya madra- 
kekayahM Likewise in the Ashtadhyayi of Panini (II, 3, 73 ; 
v, 4, 67) bhadra and madra are synonymous. Professor 

8. Ibtd. p. 59. 

9. Buddha Prakash, ‘Glimpses of Ancient Hariyana’, Hariyana Research 
Journal Yol. I (1966) part T, p. 1. 

10 . 

11 . 

Mahabharaia^ III. 254, 2. 

/W., IT, 48, 13, 




i’rzyluski suggests that bhadra is merely a variant of 
madra. To quote him, *‘it is tempting to consider the variation 
bh/in as a simple graphic confusion.”^* confusion may 

be due to the fact that the capital of the Madras, Shakala, was also 
, known as Bhadrankara or Bhadrapura. In the itinerary of the fa- 
mous physician Jivaka Kaumarabhritya, given in the Vinaya of the 
Mulasarvastivadins, we read that he travelled from Takshashila to 
to Bhadrankara, where he passed the summer, and thence repaired to 
Udumhara^ where he cured a sick-man ; from there he reached 
Rohitaka (Rohtak) and then went to Mathura .^8 In the Mafiama- 
yuri the Yaksha shaila is said to have been worshippedjat Bhadrapura 
which evidently represents Bhadrankara and which Fleet plausibly 
identifies with Shakala, the capital of the Madr^.^* Besides this, 
the ancestor of the Madras, Vyushitashya, is said^ to have beeri ma- 
rried to Bhadra Kakshivati. According to tradition, Vyushitashva 
suffered from pthysis and died as a result of cohabitation with his 
wife. But, in consequence of a divine favour, she bore by his corpse 
seven sons, three.of whom were Salvas and four Madras.^® A Para- 
llelism has been traced between the legend of Bhadra, the mother 
of the Madras, and that of the princes Media, the mother of the 
Medes.^® Thus it is likely that the name Bhadra, borne by the epo- 
nymous mother of the Madras, may also be responsible for their 
being called Bhadras. 

It follows from the above discussion that Bhadras and Madras 
originally represented one and the same people. These people were 
most probably a branch of the Indo-Iranian tribe called , Mada and 
Mede— the names, madra, maddat mada, mede, Matienoi being vari- 
ants of the same name.^’ Sometimes Madia appears in the form of 
madrakara in which the suffix kara, Pushto kor, is also an Iranian 
word meaning an army or a people.^® The name of the presiding 
deity of the Madra capital Shakala or Bhadrnkara, Kharaposta, is also 
anjranian word. Thus H.K.Deb is right in holding that the Madras/ 
Bhadras were an Indo-Iranian people.^® 

‘ . 'v ... ... ^ ^ ‘ 

12. Ancient peoples of the Punjab, p.X ^ 

13. Jean Przyluski, ‘Le Nord-Ouest de I’lnde dans - le Vinaya des Mula$ar- 
vashtivadins'. Journal Asiatique (1914) p. 493. 

14. J. F. Flcat, Actes du XlVe Congres des Orientalistes (1905) p. 164. 

15. Mahabharata, I, 112, 33. 

^ ^ ^ ^ JI33U{^q I 



The name of the Madras/Bhadras is hot found in the RigveJa, 
But it becomes prominent in the Brahmanas and Upnishads. Panini 
(VII, 3, 13 ; IV, 2, 108) mentions two divisions of the Madras, 
Aparamadra, inhabiting the Gujrat region between the Jhelum and 
the Chenab, and Purvamadra, setteled in the Gujranwala and Sialkot 
districts between the Chenab and the Ravi. Their capital Shakala, 
situated on the bank of the Apaga, is the same as modern Sialkot, 
lying along the Ayek. Their realm was known as the home of 
beautiful women. They had the custom of selling their women 
ahd marrying them in consideration of the bride’s price.*® Their 
social organisation was marked by the mobility of social classes. 
Among them a barber could become a Brahmana and a Shudra could 
become a Kshatriya and vice-versa. There was also no cut and dry 
distinction between the freemen and the slaves. 

In Prakrit dr becomes // with the result that Madra becomes 
Malla and Bhadra becomes Bhalla.** Vamana says that the Prakrit 
forms Mails and Bhalla were used for villagers. Thus it appears 
that whereas the aristocratic classes called themselves Madra and 
Bhadra, the rustic folk were known as Malla and Bhalla. In course 
of time these names were used for different peoples or different 
sections of the same people. 

The Mallas became the Malavas. The Mahabharata records 
a tradition that the hundred sons of the Madra King Ashvapati, 
born of the queen Malavi, came to be known as the Malavas.*® 
They, and their associates, the Kshudrakas, are placed in East 
Panjab, in the Iheir modern descendants are the 

Malav Sikhs of Ferozepur, Ludhiana, Patiala, Jind and Malerkotla. 

16. Jean Przyluski, ‘Nouveaux aspects de I’histoire des Scythes*, Revue de 
I'universite de Bruxelles Vol. 42 (1937) p. 218. 

17. Buddha Prakash, Glimpses of Ancient Punjab, p. 32. 

' 18‘. J. Charpentier, ‘Some Remarks on Pushto Etymology’, Acta Orientalia 

VII, p. 188. 

19 , H. K. Deb, ‘Mede and Madra’, Journal of the Royal Asiatic Societj^ 
of Bengal, {19*25), p. 205. 

- . 20. Mahabharata, i, 1229. 

21. VIII, 45-61. 

22. Pischel, Grammatik der Prakrit Sprachen s. 294. 

23. Mahabharata, II , 297, 60. 

;J4. Ibid., VII, 19, ^6; VlII, 7, 15, 



Asa result of the rise of Poros and the invasion of Alexander in the 
fourth century B. C., their brethren beyond the Ravi were pushed 
southwards in the Chenab— Ravi Doab. In the second century 
B. C,, the Indo-Greeks pushed them down from there into central 
and eastern Rajasthana, where they settled in the Jaipur — Tonk 
region. From there they moved into the Mahi Valley in Gujarat 
and the Betwa and Shipra valleys called East and West Malwa, after 
their name.*® 

Like the Malava branch of the Madras, that branch of them, 
which was known as Bhadra/Bhadana/Bhadanaka, settled in Hariyana 
in the region of Rewari, Bhiwani, Gurgaon and a part of the Alwar 
state. They were an important power as is clear from the references 
of the Mahabharata cited above. In the post-Harsha period they 
assumed particular prominence and were mentioned along with the 
Tomaras and other powers. In the period of Chauhan expansion they 
were a dominant people of this region and, as such, had to face 
several encounters with them. Lastly, they were engulfed in the 
Chauhan empire of Prithviraja III. What became of them after the 
defeat of Prithviraja by Shahabuddin Ghuri should be the subject of 
further research. 

25. Buddha Prakash, Glimpses of Ancient Panjcfb, (Punjabi University. 
Patiala, 1966) pp. 3 1-52, specially 51-5?. ^ 

HARIYANA [1763-68] 


Pb. H. R. GUPTA, M.A., Ph.D., D.Litx 

Suraj Mai, the most famous and greatest of the Jat Rajas of 
Bharatpur was accidentally killed on the 25th December, 1763 in a 
battle with Najib-ud-daulah. His youthful son Jawahir Singh and 
the entire Jat nation determined to avenge themselves upon the 
slayer of their chief. Jawahir Singh made preparations on a large 
scale in the course of the following year. He also hired the services 
of the Marathas and the Sikhs. 

These activities of the young Jat Raja gave Najib a fright. 
Anticipating that the storm must burst upon him, Najib sent his 
envoy Meghraj to Ahmad Shah 'Abdali in Kandahar appealing for help 
and protection. Meghraj passed through the Panjab in September- 
October along the foot of the northern hills via Jammu, as 
the direct road through Lahore had been closed by the Sikhs. Najib 
then tried to pacify Jawahir Singh, but with him it was a question 
of honour and prestige, and so he stuck to his resolution. He 
marched upon Delhi early in November and besieged Najib ud- 
daulah in the city. This offered a chance to the Sikhs as 
Najib’s estates in Saharanpur, Meerut, Bijnor, etc., lay unprotected. 
The Biidha Dal under Jassa Singh Ahluwalia crossed the Jumna at 
Buriya Ghat and entered the Gangetic Doab. 

They swept over the major portion of this rich territory and 
displayed a great alacrity in searching for loot, even piercing to the 
remotest villages situated at the foot of the hills. Najib was besieged 
in Delhi. But Hafiz Rahmat Khan at the head of a detachment of 
6,000 offered the intruders only nominal resistance and then quietly 
retired. This visitation of the Sikhs is numbered among the most 
terrible ones which ever befell this unfortunate country®. 


Jawahir Singh had besieged Najib-ud-daulah in Delhi early in 
November, 1764; but the siege was prolonged on account of the 

1. Selections flTom the Pesha\va*s Daftar (hereafter abbreviated as S.P.D.), 
voJ. XXIX, 73. 

2. Cf. G.R.C. Williams, Calcutta Review, Vol. IX, January, 1875, PP. 26-7;' 
Gulistan-i-Rahmat, 84-5. 



lukewarmness of Jawahir’s ally Malhar Rao. This made Jawahif- 
Singh seek assistance in another quarter. He invited the Sikhs, who 
were plundering the Gangetic Doab, to Delhi and concluded his 
negotiations with them, promising to give a large sum of money and 
taking 12-15,000 of them in his pay.® “The Sikhs arrived (early in 
January, 1765) at Barari Ghat, 7 kos from the city. The river on 
that side was fordable. Jawahir Singh crossed it, and went to 
interview the Sikhs. But here his relations with them did not 
become friendly, They hindered the driver of the elephant ridden 
by Jawahir from coming to the assembly of interview. More than 
a hundred Sardars, as arranged, came and interviewed (him) . The 
sitting of the conference commenced with a prayer, which in their 
terminology is called Ardas. In it they said, “Jawahir Singh, the 
son of Surajtual, has come within the shelter of the Khalsa Jee and 
becomes a Sikh of Nanak. He is demanding redress for his father’s 
blood,’* This behaviour was disliked by Jawahir Singh. They also 
drove out the huqqa-bearer of Jawahir Singh with insult and abuse. 
“But he was in the utmost need (of Sikh assistance) and bore all this. 
It was settled (that) the Sikhs would prepare for fight and form 
trenches in the direction from which they had come, namely the 
north of the city ; the Subahdar (Malhar and Jawahir Singh would 
[fight as before from the eastern side ; while the Sikh horse-men would 
scour the country on the west so as to cut off [provisions from the 
city totally. The fighting went on in this way for twenty days,’^^ 


The method of fighting between the Sikhs and Najib-ud-daullah 
is described in a picturesque way by the eyewitness Nur-ud-din,* 
which we reproduce below : — 

“Everyday the Sikh troopers used to ride out and enter the 
old houses which lay desolate near the garden of Yaqub Ali Khan 
on the river bank —such as the mansions of Namkin and Hafiz-ud- 

3, Father Wendel, History of the Jats, 97 ; but 20,000 according to Miskin, 
Tazkira-i-Tahmas Miskin, 264. 

4. It will be interesting to rote that Alha Singh’s soldiers numbering 
1,000, under Bhola Singh fought on the side of Najib-ud-daulah on this occa- 
sion. Karara Singh, Maharaja Alha Singh, 232; Nur-ud-din, Tarikh-l-Najib- 
ud-daulah, 82b-S3a. 


ON HARIYANA [1763-68J 

din Khan and the Badalpura and other mohallas, and wished to come 
towards the city walls. Najib, leaving men at different places in the 
trenches near the river, himself with a force of horse and foot and 
his kettle-drums mounted on elephants, etc,, came out by the Lahore 
Gate, posted his men each under the cover of some ruined house or 
lane, while he himself sat down on a stone. The Rohilas engaged 
the Sikhs with their matchlocks. The musketry fight continued 
briskly till two gharis after nightfall. Mian Niaz Gul, a risaldar of 
Najib, was wounded with a bullet. The Rohila infantry plied their 
muskets well. Najib told his men to fire their rockets wherever the 
Sikh horsemen were standing crowded in a knot, so that they were 
scattered by the rockets. At some places fighting took place and 
many Sikhs were wounded. About the time of sunset, a Sikh who 
wore silver armour, fell down from his horse and the Sikhs wished 
to carry his corpse off, while the Rohilas, desiring the seize of his 
property, attempted to detain the body. Here the battle raged furi- 
ously ; three Rohilas were slain and seven wounded, while many of 
the Sikhs also were wounded. At last the Rohilas with drawn swords 
dragged the corpse away. A purse was found in his belt, containing 
gold coins, valued at Rs. 1,000. In this manner fighting with the 
Sikhs went on for nearly one month. At three pahars Jof the day 
Najib-ud“daullah used to come out of the city, and the Sikhs also 
and some of Jawahir’s troops sent for aiding them used to arrive on 
the scene, and they used to fight till sunset. After sunset each party 
went back to its camp.”® 


The fighting was going on in Delhi in this way when the news 
reached the Sikhs that the Abdali had crossed the Indus and was 
approaching towards Lahore by forced marches. Thus Sikhs as a 
consequence suddenly retired to the Panjah even without asking 
leave of Jawahir Singh. They remained busy fighting in Panjab till 
the retreat of Ahmed Shah in March, 1765. Ahmed Shah left Najib 
ud-daulah as his plenipotentiary and dictator at Delhi. 

5. Nur-ud-din, 84b-85b. 

(January 9 , 1795, News from Delhi. Najib-ud-daulah has been defeated by 
Jawahir Singh, anJ has retired into the fort. The city has fallen into the hands 
of Jawahir Singh, Nijtb-ud-daulah is desirous of going to his own country ^ 
through the assistance of Marathas.) 

38 : 



In September 1765, the Sikhs assembled at Amritsar and deci- 
ded to plunder Hariyana- In consequence they marched thither and 
after passing Sirhind divided themselves into two bodies. The 
T aruna Dal crossed the Jumna at Buriya Ghat and entered Saharan- 
pur district, while the Budha Dal consisting of 25,000 horse under 
the leadership of Jassa Singh Ahluwalia and Tara Singh, Sham Singh 
and other sardars attacked Najib’s jagirs in the country north of 
Delhi.® ■ 

Najib with 10,000 soldiers was busy in reducing rebellious 
villages in the Bhiwani and Rohtak parganahs and had succeeded in 
impressing his power on the Narnol side. On hearing that the Sikhs 
were levying blackmail on his country, he advanced towards them 
and met the situation with such skill and persistence as was to be 
expected from the leading Muslim general of the time after Ahmad 
Shah Durrani. The Rajah of Bbatner and Amar Singh, grandson 
and successor of Alha Singh, also marched from their places to join 
Najib-ud-daulah against the Sikhs. ’ 

Najib'Ud'daulah himself wrote a letter to the Emperor Shah 
Alam 11 then residing at Allahabad, on the 3rd November, 1765 and 
described the Sikh depredation and his own measures for defence 
thus :“~“The infidels (Sikhs) having with all malevolence advanced 
as far as Panipat and Satalaj, proposed proceeding directly to Shah- 
jahanabad. But upon his sending forward his tent to Mahaldar — 
Khan's garden and collecting a number of new and old troops, they 
perceived that they had not then an opportunity of putting their 
designs into execution. And so after ravaging and plundering the 
circumjacent villages, they retreated. Their retreat was also due to 
the fact (hat the time for the celebration of the Chak® was near at hand. 
As they are under no apprehension of troubles from any quarter they 
are determined to come this way after that festival. To the writer 
it appears to be a very difficult matter to punish them. It can be 

6. S,P,D. XXIX, 99 & 102 ; Calendar of Persian Correspondence (hereafter 
abbreviated as C.P.C.), 1, 2533 A. 

x-r \ 102 ; Niir-iid-din, 100a; Sarkar, Fall of the 

Mughal , Empire 11 , 396. 

8. To celebrate at Amritsar the Diwali festival which fell on the 14 th 

39 ' 

ON HARIYANA [1763-68] 

effected only by the blessing of God and His Majesty’s auspices. As 
far as it lies in his power, he will not be negligent in giving proofs of 
his fidelity and attachment. With this view he has assembled all his 
forces from the different districts, and having left the city, has encam- 
ped on the frontiers in order that the enemy may be struck with 
terror and also that his troops may all be together.”® 


The Sikhs on the west side of the Jumna after ravaging a part 
of Najib’s territory and the imperial dominion returned to Amritsar. 
Soon after the Diwali celebration they made for Delhi and commenced 
plundering Najib’s villages. Najib»ud*daulah who had anticipated 
this irruption and had been making preparations, since their last 
departure from his country, marched to oppose their advance, and 
met them near Shamli, 12 miles east of Karnal- 

Nur-nd*din, the biographer of Najib-ud-daulah, gives a vivid 
and graphic pen-picture of this battle which we reproduce here iu a 
summary way. Everyday there were many skirmishes between the 
two sides. One day four gharis after nightfall, The Sikhs took 
shelter in the neighbouring sugarcane plantations and plied their 
matchlocks from there. From time to time they came out, and 
band after band emptied their matchlocks and went off. This kind 
of warfare continued till one pahar of the night, when the Sikhs 
retired to their place of rest. 

The next morning Najib got up early and marched toivards the 
Sikhs in an organized form. His right wing was under Sultan Khan,, 
his full brother ; left wing under Zabitah Khan, his son ; vanguard 
under Karm Khan Bazzar ; rearguard in charge of Afzal Khan, his 
brother, while Zain Khan, the chief of his artillery, accompanied him' 
with small guns. Najib had not gone far when the Sikhs surrounded 
them on all four sides and the fight began two gharis after dawn. 
The fire of battle raged till noon, when a dry nala intervened in. 
their path and certain loaded carts of Najib found it difficult to get 
over it. The Sikhs just at this moment came up running, and 
clashing with the division of Zabitah Khan in a mango garden, 
performed excellent barqandazi. Many men were wounded on the 
two sides and the Sikhs wished to contrive things in such a way that 

9. C. P. C, ii, 2735A. Also Cf. 2735C, and 2735D, all dated November 
3, 1765. 

40 : 


by keeping the Rohilas engaged in fighting they would detain them 
from advancing for some time and utilise this delay in setting their 
own camp on the march and carry it towards the river. But Najib 
did not at all stop his advance, and, therefore, in the division of 
Zabitah Khan many men were slain. 

The battle raged furiously till one pahar of the day still 
remained. The bank of the Jumna, where the Sikhs had placed 
their baggage train came near. The Sikhs formed the plan of 
gaining a little respite by any means so that their camp might cross 
the river with ease, and in that event their entire property and 
baggage would escape plunder. They fell upon the rear. Najib’s 
soldiers being hard*pressed asked him to permit them only once to 
attack the Sikhs at full gallop and repel them, otherwise the Rohilas 
would die silently under blows. Najib replied, “The halting place of 
the Sikhs is now very close. Have patience for a little while and 
we shall reach their camp, then much booty will fall into our hands. 
When their camp, is once beaten up, they will not again spread 
through the country, and the plunderers who ^have joined them will 
be put to distress and return to their homes.” 

A severe scuffle ensued between the Sikhs and Najib’s rear, in 
which the former gave a very hard time to the latter. Every time 
the Sikhs fell on the Rohilas with shouting, “Wah Wah Guru !” 
Najib then himself came to the rescue of the rearguard with the 
zamburaks and his household squadron. The Sikhs, on seeing 
Najib's flag went to a greater distance and stood on a mound 
emptying their matchlocks. Najib-ud-daulah attacked them there 
and drove them away from the hillock. By this time night had 
approached, Najib stayed where he was standing while the Sikhs 
crossed the Jumna with all their baggage and camp in the darkness. 
In the morning not one horseman of them was left^®. 


After the battle of Shamli the Tarum Dal advanced towards 
Delhi, and joined the Budha Dal in the neighbourhood of 
Kharkhauda, 20 miles east of Rohtak and one day’s march from 

10 . 



Nar-ud-din, lOOb-lOda ; Cf. S.P.D., XXIX, 102, 

S.P.D., XXIX, 21 ; Nur-ud-din, I06b, 


19th December, 


RBPERCUSSIONS of surajmal^s death 
ON HARIYaNA [1763-681 

Jawahir Singh, the Jat Rajah of fiharatpur, was already hard- 
pressed by the Marathas. He, therefore, could not bear the onslaught 
of the Sikhs. Consequently he sought for peace and opened negotia- 
tions with them through his vakil Ram Kishore Ahir. He paid 
them a subsidy of 7 lakhs of Rupees in order to bring their maraud- 
ing activities to an end, and hired a body of 25,000 of their horse 
to fight the Marathas on his side. Jassa Singh, Tara Singh, Sham 
Singh and two other sardars remained here, while the others spread 
over the country of Najib-ud*daulah and again began to desolate 
villages in the main Doab. Najib pursued them as far as the 
Sonepat district and then they retired towards their homes.’-*. 

Jawahir Singh and the Sikhs concerted a plan of action and it 
seems to have been decided to divert the concentration of ths 
Maratha- forces from the Jat kingdom’s frontiers by attacking their 
ally Raja Madho Singh of Jaipur. The Sikhs consequently marched 
thither and decided to plunder the rich town of Rewari on their way. 
Below we give the interesting account of the plunder of Rewari in the 
words of Nur-ud-din : — “The Sikhs, by forced marches at night, 
made a raid 48 kos from Delhi, and close to Mewat. They plunder- 
ed and burnt it and took prisoners (for ransom). This town had 
been flourishing for a long time past and was included in 
the jagir of Rajah Nagar Mai Khatri, a high civil officer of the 
Emperor. The Amil of the place on behalf of Rajah Nagar Mai 
was totally off his guard. He now shut himself up in a mansion, and 
with a few hundred foot-soldiers that he had, fought all the day ; 
and at night, by reason of his knowledge of the country, effected his 
escape from it (though) in utter ruin, and went to the territory of 
the Jat Rajah where Nagar Mai himself was. The ryots of Rewari 
were plundered to the extreme ; only the people who reached 

12. S-P.D., XXIX, 121, 177 and 197. Wendel, a contemporary historian, 
writes : — "His own country is the prey of the enemy (Marathas) who followed 
him close and he must either make an inglorious peace or risk all his fortune 
in a new war. Obstinately he has chosen the latter course, taken at a vast 
expense a corps of 20-25,000 Sikhs who had at that time come to his own 
country to ravage it ; —blind obstinacy of the Rajah ; he has been previously 
obliged to pay an advance of seven lakh rupees to these barbarous allies for 
desolating two of his entire provinces. The expedition will end in his openly 
falling out wi th them ; and he will at last have the Sikhs as well as the Rajputs 
on his hands. Thus his father’s treasures are taking wing.” History of the 
Jats, 108b (French Ms.) 



Gokulgarh (a fortlet) constructed by the zamindar of that pfacJe, 
and standing half a kos from Rewari, remained safe.”^^ 

The Sikhs then entered the territory of Raja Madho Singh of 
Jaipur, and joined by Jawahir Singh’s forces began to loot the 
villages and towns unopposed, and sacked Kot*Putli. Dulerai (the 
Bakhshi) and Jai Chand (the Khan-i-jaman) were away from Jaipur 
to lay siege to the fort of Kanaud held by Ratan Singh IChangarot, a 
rebel chief against Jaipur. The Sikhs encamped seven or eight kos 
distant. The Sikh forces were overwhelming and Madho Singh in help- 
lessness appealed for Maratha help on promising a daily allowance 
of Rs. 5,000 by way of expenses. Sindhia’s contingent was at once 
bought oj0f by the .Jaipur Rajah, Jawahir Singh patched up a truce 
with Madho Singh and returned to his country taking the Sikhs 
with him.^^ 

In December, 1767 the Sikhs again turned their attention to- 
wards the country of Najab ud-daulah across the Jamuna. After 
much fight and plundering they returned in March 1768. On the 
retirement of the Sikhs from the Doab to their own territories, 
Najib went to Aonla where he celebrated the marriage of his son 
Kalu Khan. The Sikhs finding him absorbed in these nuptial festi- 
ivities, again spread in the parganahs of Karnal and Panipat and 
ravaged the imperial domains. Thereupon Najib moved from Aonla 
by forced marches, arrived at Delhi and then marched towards the 
the Sikhs to exert himself to expel them as usual. He faught many 
battles with them but was defeated. The Sikh leader Jai Singh (Jassa 
Singh) wrote a letter recalling all the Sikh bands then in Bharat- 
pur with Jawahir Singh.^^ 

Having defeated Najib the Sikhs marched towards Delhi and 
menaced the imperial city, ‘'committing hostilities and depredations 
in those very quarters.” Musavi Khan, the King’s agent, had scanty 
forces with him and possessed no sources to draw succour from, and 

13. Nur-u-din, 106b-107a and S.P.D,, XXIX, 121. 

14. Khuswaqt Rai, Kitab*I-Tarikh-I-Panjab, 104 ; S.P.D.. XXlX, 99, 102, 
121, 127, 197. 

15. He wrote ; “What are you doing there ? I have repeatedly written to 
you to chastise Najib, but you have not done it. So I have now come here, You 
Join me from his kingdom.” 

S. P. D., XXIX, 143. 


repercussions of gURAJMAL'S DEATH 
ON HARIYaNA [1763-68] 

was therefore not sufficient strong either to defend the fort of Delhi 
or to undertake an expedition.^® 

Najib-ul-daulah was so much shaken in his determination and 
his utter weakness against the Sikhs unfolded itself in so glaring a 
manner before him, that he thought of seeking his political salvation 
by making a pilgrimage of Mecca or by retiring into some obscure 
retreat^^ He openly confessed himself beaten in a letter addressed 
to the Queen-mother of Shah Alam II, and recalled his agent 
Sultan Khan, troops and goods from Delhi, leaving the royal family 
and the city to their fate^® 

The sudden desertion of the capital by Najib deeply disturbed 
the mind of the Emperor. Moreover, it etevated the spirits of the 
Sikhs so highly that they now wanted to play the role of king-makers 
by offering to escort Shah Alam to the imperial capital. There was, 
however, no unity among the Sikh chiefs, and every one of them 
wished to be the king-maker and hence the Emperor declined to 
give himself up to them. 

16. C. p. C., ii, 835 ; Nur-ud-din, 113. 

17. C. P. C., ii, 847. 

18. Najib wrote to the Dowager Queen, “To this hour her servant has 
manifested unshaken loyalty to the House of Timur. And his services, however, 
poor or inconsiderable, have yet been zealous and sincere. Hitherto he has pre- 
served the Royal domains, and what he has been able to give he has given. But 
now Her Majesty must forgive her servant and not expect what he has no ability 
to perform. The Sikhs have prevailed and they have written to all the tribes in 
general to join them, pointing to his weakness and encouraging them to cast him 
out. Her Majesty will consider him now as one unable to provide for his own 
security here. If, therefore, it meets with her august approbation and the propo- 
sal is thought practicable, her servant is ready to escort the whole Royal family 
to the Presence. There is still time enough left for the execution of this purpose. 
Morevoer, on account of the engagements which subsist between Her Majesty 
and her servant, he will continue firm to her side while he has the power to do so; 
and when he has no power left, he will escort Her Majesty to the presence of 
her son. He is ready to perform these conditions and would on no account have 
it said that he failed them and turned his back on the day of trial.*’ C. P. C., 
II, 847. 

In another letter written nearly six months later, Najib-ud-daulah again 
admitted his inability to cope with the situation, while writing to the Emperor;— 
“Until this hour I have manifested the firmest attachment and fidelity towards 
the young princes and Her Majesty the Begum. But now I am no longer able 
to continue that support to them which is necessary for their preservation. Let 
your Majesty in your own Royal person advance to your capital and yourself 
defend your own honour. Your vassal ingenuously represents that he is not equal 
to the charge in his present situation.” C. P. C., II, 1101 ; S. P. D. XXIX, 



A Marathi despatch dated the 30th December, 1763, written by 
Sadashiv Ballal to Vishvasrao Lakshman, says that Najib again faught 
With the Sikhs but was defeated’^ This is the last battle of this 
period fought between the Sikhs and Najib-ud-daulah which we have 
come across in the contemporary records. 

Having overpowered all their enemies, the Sikhs obtained poss- 
ession of the major portion of the Panjab extending in the east from 
the bank of the Jumna, running from Buriva to Karnal, in the west 
as far as the Indus from Attock to the vicinity of Bhakkar, and in 
the south from the neighbourhood of Multan and Sind, to the foot 
of the Siwalik hills in the north up to the boundaries of Bhimbar, 
Jammu and Kangra, interspersed here and there with some petty 
independent chiefships. Some learned person, out of hatred for the 
sovereignty of the Sikhs, commemorated the date of this event by 
the following chronogram which gives the year 1768 A. D. ‘Tahane 
Kharab Shudah’*®.’* 

19. S. P. D. XXIX, 223. 

20. Forster, I, 324-5. 



Dr. GANDA SINGH, M. A., Ph. D., D. Litt. 

The relations of the Sikhs with Hariyana are as old as the 
begining of the sixteenth century when Guru Nanak, the founder 
of Sikh religion, began his missionary travels. Born in 1469, he was 
the most widely travelled religious prophet, the greatest pilgrim of 
the age who visited the places of worship of almost all the religions, 
theistic and atheistic, in India and abroad, not only to have first-hand 
knowledge of the beliefs and practices of their votaries but also to 
preach his own message with particular emphasis on the practical 
lives of his followers. 

Kurukshetra is an important Hindu tittha in Hariyana. Guru 
Nanak visited this place on the occasion of a solar eclipse. A disciple 
brought to him a deer which he ordered to be cooked. The Brah- 
man priests of the place considered this to be a sicreltgious act 
and expressed his horror at the use of flesh on a sacred day. The 
Guru exposed the hollowness of such beliefs and said that it was 
fools who wrangled about flesh without knowing in that lay the 
secret of a virtuous life. In the town of Thanesar near Kuruk- 
shetra there stands a Gurdwara known as Sidh Bati to commemorate 
the visit of Guru Nanak. 

Kurukshetra was also visited by the third Guru Amar Das in 
about 1556, when he also stayed at Pehowa. At Thanesar he was 
asked by the Pandits why he had abandoned Sanskrit, the language 
of the gods, and had composed his hymns in the vernacular of the 
people. The Guru replied : ^Well water can only irrigate adjacent 
land but rain water the whole world,* meaning thereby that his mess- 
age was not meant for a limited circle of Sanskrit scholars but was 
meant for all. 

There are at Pehowa, Kurukshetra and Thanesar and in their 
neighbourhood a number of Sikh shrines sacred to the memory of 
the sixth, seventh, ninth and tenth Gurus, Hargobind, Har Rai, 
Tegh Bahadur and Govind Singh. 

Kaithal has two gurdwaras in memory of the ninth Guru Tegh- 
Bahadur, one in the town and the other putside the Dogran gate to 
the north of the towp. 



The Gurdwaras at Jind, Rohtak and around them are connected 
with the visits of Guru Tegh Bahadur who passed through the 
Hariyana tract more than once during his journeys to and from the 
eastern provinces and to Delhi where he was executed in 1675 under 
the orders of Emperor Aurangzeb for espousing the cause of the 
Kashmiri Brahmanas against forcible conversions to Islam. 

After the death of Guru Gobind Singh began the political 
relations of the Sikhs with Hariyana. 

On the solar eclipse day on September 3, 1708, on the bank of 
the river Godavari, at Nander, in the Deccan, Guru Gobind Singh 
discovered some thing really vital in a youthful ascetic Madho Das 
by name and relumed it with promethean fire. The Guru made so 
deep an impression upon him that he surrendered himself completely 
to the Guru and was then and there baptised into a Khalsa with the 
new name of Banda Singh, His blood boiled to hear the stories of 
the persecution of the Sikh Gurus at the hands of the Mughals and 
of the merciless butchering of the seven and nine years old sons of 
Guru Gobind Singh under the orders of Nawab Wazir Khan of 
Sirhind. But what set him ablaze against the Mughal government 
and their representatives at Sirhind was the fatal attack upon the 
Guru himself by the agenst of the Nawab of Sirhind. He sought 
the Guru’s permission to proceed to the Punjab forthwith. On his 
arrival in the Bagar territory of the Delhi province, he soon became 
popular with people as a defender of the weak and helpless against 
professional deceits and official tyrants. 

In one of his expeditions in this area his attack upon a gang of 
robbers and dacoits was so sudden, bold and severe that they were 
thrown into confusion and, without a second thought, they took to 
their heels. The news of this act of bravery on the part of Banda 
Singh and his Sikh companions spread far and wide and infused into 
the people of the Bagar a new spirit for self-defence. He then moved 
into the parganah of Kharkhoudah in Hariyana proper and establi- 
shed himself near the villages of Sihiri and Khanda which became his 
first headquarters in this part of the country. Thus from his base 
depot in Hariyana, Banda Singh despatched the Guru’s letters to the 
Sikhs of the Malwa, the Doaba and the Manjha districts of the 
Punjab calling upon them to join with him in waging war against 
the Mughals. It was from here that his Sikh companions from the 
Deccan proclaimed that Banda Singh had been appointed by Guru 



fiobind Singk as a leader, a jathedar of the Khalsa, and that it 
behoved every true Sikh to rally round his banner. It was from here 
that he embarked upon his career of conquest and occupied the 
town of Sonepat. He then marched northwards and took possession 
of Kaithal and the neighbouring areas of Thanesar. As the rivulet 
Ghaggar forms practically the northern boundary of the Hariyana 
tract, the conquest of Sirhind and the subsequent expansion of the 
kingdom of the Sikhs under Banda Singh to the north and north-east 
of it are beyound the sphere of this paper. With the fall of Banda 
Singh in 1715-16, there is a gap of over two decades in the active 
history of the Sikhs. Emperor Bahadur Shah had moved against 
them in 1710 and had dislodged them from most of their positions. 
And to throttle their movement and spirit for independence, he 
issued edicts to his faujdars on December 10, 1710, to kill the 
disciples of Nanak (the Sikhs) wher ever they were found— Nanak— 
prasian ra har ja kih baxabandi baqatl rasanand. This edict was 
repeated by Emperor Farukh-Siyar during whose time Banda Singh 
was captured and executed at Delhi along with some eight hundred 

The next forty years in the history of the Sikhs are full of a 
life-and'death struggle. Under imperial orders, moving columns 
were sent out by Nawab Zakaria Khan Bahadur from theprovincial 
headquarters of Lahore to hunt tbem out from their villages and to 
exterminate the whole nation of the Sikhs. *In hundreds they were 
daily brought in chains and executed in the streets of Lahore^ But 
it may be said to their credit that not a single Sikh ‘abjured his 
faith or perjured his soul to preserve his muddy vesture of decay.’ 
They had to leave their homes and hearths in the central Panjab and 
seek shelter in mountains and jungles and in the sandy deserts of 
Bhatinda- At times, they had to go into the Hariyana territory for 
a temporary refuge. This continued up to 1753 when, with the 
death of the Lahore governor, Mir Mannoo, in November, they 
heaved a sigh of relief. But they had yet to contend with a more 
relentless foe from the north-west, Ahmed Shah Durrani of Afghan- 
istan, who wished to conquer the Panjab and annex it to his 
Central Asian empire. This was more than what the intense patriot- 
ism of the Sikhs could stand. Forgetting all their enmity against 
the Mughal emperors and their blood thirsty representatives in the 
Panjab, they stood up against the Durranis. Although, like the 
Marthas in 1761 atPanipat, they suffered very heavily at the hands 
of Ahmed Shah in the Ghalughara of February 5, 1862, they defeated 



the Afghan Governor Zain Khan of Sirhindon January 14, 1764, 
on the third anniversary of the battle of Panipat, and successfully 
rolled off the Afghan power from the south-eastern Punjab, inclu- 
ding the Hariyana, and from the north-western Punjab, and in fact 
from the whole of India, in April 1765. 

To organise themselves against the Mughal tyranny and Afghan 
usurpation, the Sikhs, as history knows it, had divided themselves 
at first into two Dais, the Budha Dal (the Army of the Elders) and 
the Tarma Dal (the Army of the Young). The two Dak were then 
subdivided into five Jathas which, in course of time, came to be 
expanded into as many as twelve Misals, eight to the north of the 
river Satluj and four to the south of it. Of the four cis-Satluj 
Misals, the Karorsinghias, the Nishanawalias and the Shahids made 
no permanent impact on the Hariyana territory. It is true that on 
several occasions they accompanied the other Misals on their cis- 
Satluj and trans-Jamuna expoits and, at times, their leaders like 
Sardar Baghel Singh Karorsinghia were selected to lead the 
combined expeditions of the Dal Khalsa, their individual acquisitions 
were greatly confined to the north of Ghaggar which formed the 
northern boundary of the Hariyana. The leaders of the Phulkian 
Misal, the chiefs of the houses of Patiala, Nabha and Jind, alone 
carried their arms to the Hariyana both for offensive and defensive 
jneasures against the Bhattis, the Rohillas, the Delhi ojfiacials and 
the French and British adventurers who cast their covetous eyes on 
the Hariyana and Malwa territories. When on the defeat of Zain 
Khan, the Durrani governor of Sirhind, the Sikh Sardars parcelled 
out the Hariyana territory among themselves, Sardar Gajpat Singh, 
a descendant of the senior branch of the house of Phul, occupied 
extensive areas, including the districts of Jind (and Safidon, in the 
heart of the Hariyana. This established the closest and happy relations 
between this area and the Sikhs who contributed considerably to its 
political importance and economic welfare. The Patiala rules, Ala 
Singh and Amar Singh, also occupied a portion of the Hariyana 
territory during the sixties and seventies of the eighteenth century. 
The progress of the Sikhs towards Delhi alarmed the Mughal 
authorities, but by an arrangement in 1777 at Jind with Najaf Quii 
Khan on behalf of Emperor Shah Alam, Hansi, Hissar and Rohtak 
were made over to the emperor, and Fatehabad, Sirsa and Rania 
were retained by Maharaja Amar Singh. The great famine of 1840 
Bk. (1783 A D.), known as chalisa, worked havoc in the area and 







I ‘ 












Aost of the Sikh agriculturists, who had greatly contributed to its 
economic development, came back to their original villages to the 
north of the Ghaggar. This aflforded an opportunity to the Bhattis 
to take possession of the vacated lands. In the meantime the Irish 
adventurer George Thomas appeared on the scene and carved out a 
principality for himself (1797 — 99) with dreams of conquering and 
occupying the Punjab and planting the British flag on the bank 
of the Indus. He was, however, defeated and ousted by the 
combined forces of Patiala, Jind and Kaithal, helped by Louis 
Borquin on behalf of Sindhia (1802). The arrangement of 1777 was 
maintained and was later confirmed by Lord Lake in 1804. With 
the extension of the British power in this area, they claimed in 1809 
the deserted lands as belonging to them. This laid the foundation of 
a long dispute between the Patiala State, which protested against the 
British claims, and the British government. The dispute, known as 
the Nali Case, because of the Ghaggar (rivulet or Nali) passing 
through the area in its last stage, continued with varying results for 
about a century and a quarter. It was revived by Maharaja 
Bhupendra Singh in 1921 and was finally given up by him in 1927. 
But as the British authorities, who were a party to the case, were 
also its judges, the claims of the Patiala State were only partially 
recognized and some 106 villages were taken away from it. 

The small Sikh state of Kaithal was founded in 1767 by Bhai 
Desu Singh, a descendant of Bhai Bhagtu, a devoted disciple of the 
fifth Guru Arjan. He was succeeded by his son Lai Singh who in 
turn bequeathed bis heritage to Bhai Udai Singh well knowa for his 
patronage of learning and learned men. It was during his time that 
the great Sikh Scholar Bhai Santokh Singh wrote at Kaithal his 
monumental works the Ramayana, the great Hindu epic, still in 
manuscript, and the Sri Gur-Pratap Suraj Grantha, popularly known 
as the Suraj Prakashf edited in 14 volumes by the late Bhai Vir 
Singh. On the death of Bhai Udai Singh in March 1843, without 
leaving any male issue, the British occupied Kaithal as a lapse to the 
paramount power. As the state had not been granted to the chief 
by the British Government, the term lapse could not be applied to 
it. Moreover, the right of adoption had been recognized by the 
British Government. Not only this. According to the Sikh 
custom, a widow could succeed her husband. In spite of all this, 
the state of Kaithal was forcibly occupied by British troops and 
annexed to the British Indian dominions. 




Such of the areas of Ilariyana as had fallen into the possession 
of the East India Company in 1803 as a result of the victory of Lord 
Lake against Jaswant Rao Holkar, along with those ceded by 
Sindhia, formed a part of the Delhi Division under’' the Lieutenant- 
governorship of the North-west Provinces of Agra and Oudh. In 
the Mutiny of 1857, the people and the troops stationed in 
Hariyana, were the first to rise against the British, and the region 
was wholly lost to the British. The British rule was re-established 
in this region after the fall of Delhi ,* and soon after the whole 
of the region was detached from the North-West Provinces and 
transfered to the Punjab. 

As citizens of a common province, the Sikhs and the people of 
Hariyana had very cordial relations and never during the past one 
hundred and eight years was there any clash of interests. In fact 
they always supported one another in their common welfare. In the 
closing years of the fourth decade of the century, the Sikhs and the 
Hariyana Jats gave to the Punjab two of the most distinguished 
ministers in Sardar Sundar Singh Majithia and Chaudhari Sir 
Chhotu Ram who helped ameliorate the condition of the petty land- 
holders and peasants of the country. 

The partition of the country as a result of the creation of 
Pakistan, which uprooted lakhs of Sikhs from the western Punjab, 
brought the Sikhs and the Hariyana people still closer. A large 
number of displaced Sikhs settled down in the towns and rural areas 
of Hariyana and have greatly influenced the language, the dress and 
the ways of life of its people. And above everything else, the Sikh 
struggle for a unilingual state of the Punjabi-speaking people has 
not only given to the Hariyana people a state of their own but has 
also provided them with greater opportunities for social welfare and 
economic development according to their needs. 




The bifurcation of the subject of the great Uprising of 1857 into 
two sub-divisions, mutiny of sepoys and] rebellion of the civil popu- 
lation, is generally accepted by all the scholars of the Uprising. But 
not many of them have given due attention to the latter aspect of 
the Uprising ; and practically none has dealt with the civil rebellion 
in Hariyana. Hence an important chapter of the Uprising of 1857 
has remained conspicously missing. In the present paper I have en- 
deavoured to fill up this gap. 


The military insurrection which started at Ambala and Meerut 
on May 10, 1857, became a political movement at Delhi on May 11, 
and turned into a popular uprising on the 13th when the mutineers of 
Meerut and Delhi had attacked Gurgaon®. The deputy comissioner of 
the Gurgaon district, W. Ford, along with four or five clerks and some 
other officers, fled away to Mathura via Bhondsi, Silani and Palwal, 
picking up the custom officers of all these places with him, and thus 
leaving no symbol of the British authority to be seen anywhere 
through out the length and breadth of the district®. That meant a 
complete political vacuum and led the people to believe that the British 
rule had ceased to exist. Consequently, the flame of rebellion flared 
up in the most virulent form in the whole of the district and more 
particularly in Mewat^. 

The Mewatis rose up at once in great number. Their natural 

1. In 1857 the district of Gurgaon had an area of 1,938 square miles and a 
population of half a million. It was bounded to the north by the Rohtak dis- 
trict, to the west and south-west by the states of Alwar, Nabha and Jind ; to 
the south by the district of Mathura ; to the east by the Jamuna and to the north 
east by the Delhi district, Kaye and Malleson, A History of the Sepoy war 
in India, VI, 139. 

2. File R/191 ; Jawala Sahaia,The Loyal Rajputana, 260 ; Mead, The Sepoy 
Revolt, 97-98. 

3. Jawala Sahai, 260. 

4. Gurgoan District Gazetteer, 5. 




leaders and chaudharies addressed letters to Bahadur Shah acknowledg- 
ing him the Emperor of Hindustan and began to conduct the ‘intizam* 
of their villages and localities in accordance with his instructions.® 

In the last Week of May when almost the whole of the rural 
Mewat had come under the rule of Emperor Bahadur Shah, the 
urbph Mewat still owed allegiance to the British through their ^mative 
officials’^ and wealthy persons, on whom the favours had been show- 
ered by the Government earlier. Large gatherings of Mewatis atta- 
cked such towns. They did not meet any opposition at Tauru, 
Sohna, Ferozepur-Jhirka, Punhana and Piningwan, and easily reduced 
them to subjection. A great deal of plundering and destruction also 
took place. The town of Nuh proved to be a hard nut to crack. 
The local police and the ^‘loyal Khanzadas”® gave a stiff battle to the 
Meos. But soon they were overpowered by the superior number of 
the latter. The Khaiizadas suffered heavy casualities'^. After the 
Khanzadas of Nuh, the Rawat Jals of the region near Hodal and 
the Rajputs of Hathin, ‘"who were supposed to be on the part of the 
(British) Government”, were attacked by a large gathering of Surot 
Jats of Hodal, Pathans of Seoli and the Meos. The fight continued 
for several months and the ‘loyalists’ suffered heavy losses®. On re- 
ceipt of the S. O. S. signal from the Rawats, the British authorities 
before Delhi despatched a small force to Hodal to help their support- 
ers. The loyalists and the British troops fought well, but they were 
completely routed by the Mewatis®. 

In the middle of June Major W. F. Eden, the political Agent at 
Jaipur happened to pass through Mewat at the head of a big contingent 
force comprising about 6,000 men and 7 guns. He was going to 
Delhi but finding Mewat, intervening between him and Delhi, in a 
“most deplorable state of anarchy,” he thought it advisable to settle 

5. File R/269; Trial of Bahadur Shah, 118 ; Sultan Akhbar, June 10, 1857. 

6. They were an allied caste of the Meos, and consider themselves to have 
sprung up from the Rajputs of the Yadava clan. For details see Sharaf-ud-din, 
Muraqa-i-Mewat, 79-134 ; Alvvar District Gazetteer, Para 18, P. 168. 

7. Gurgaon District Gazetteer, 5-6. 

8. Ibid. 

9. The Gurgaon district Gazetteer records this episode thus (at PP. 5-6) : 
"'Suddenly a strong hostile force of Mutineers appeared. British troops had to 
retreat and many Mewatis were surprised and killed,” 



it before going to Delhi for its ^Hurbulent population” could at any 
time pose a serious danger to the forces before Delhh^® 

Major Eden’s contingent force met stiff opposition at the hands 
of the thousands of armed men from the villages between Tauru and 
Sohna. Had he not been in possession of the artillery guns, his 
force Would have experienced heavy losses. He destroyed many 
villages. He halted at Sohna for three days. Ford and thirty Eu- 
ropean officers came down from Mohana and joined him there. 
After that, his force moved towards Palwal and remained between that 
place and Ho dal for a long time. But sickness, discontent and 
growing spirit of revolt among his troops, obliged him to return to 
Jaipur in August, 1857.12 

The departure of Major Eden’s force led to further deterioration 
in the situation. Even the fall of Delhi on September 20, 1857 did 
not effect any improvement in the situation. Consequently on Octo- 
ber 2, a strong column of 1500 men with a light field battery, a few 
18 Pounder-guns, and 2 mortars, was sent under | Brigadier-General 
Showers to punish the turbulent Meos, Gujars, Ranghars, Ahirs and 
‘the rebel princes’ ; and to settle the Gurgaon district’^. Through- 
out the month of October, the Brigadier-General laboured hard to 
realize his aims. He seized the nawabs of Jhajjar, Dadri, Farrukh- 
nagar and the Raja of Ballabgarh, dispersed their troops and took 
their forts.^® In the settlement of Mewat, his work was shared by 
Clifford, the assistant collector of Gurgaon. Clifford’s sister was 
“stripped naked at the palace/ tied in that condition to the wheels 
of gun-carriages, dragged up in the ‘Chandni Chowk’ or silver street 
of Delhi and then, in the presence of King’s sons cut to pieces.” 
Clifford *‘had it on his mind that his sister, before being murdered, 
was outraged by the rebels.” Naturally he had a fire of revenge 
burning violently in his heart. He burnt village after village and 
destroyed the country side with fire and sword. In his own words, 
“He had put to death all he had come across, not excepting women 
and children.”^'* But he could not carry on his ruthless campaign 

10. Jawala Sahai, 258-59. 

11 Jawala Sahai describes it thus, “Major Eden’s artillery opened fires to 
different quarters, burnt villages and destroyed a number of the Meos”. 

12. Foreign Secret Consultations, Nos. 440-52, Dec. 18,1857. 

13. Punjab Government Records, Vll-If, 209t 

14 . GriflSths, 96-97, 



for long, for he was killed by the Meos of Raisina and Muhammad- 

Brigadier- General Showers carried fire and sword far and wide. 
All the villages between Dharuhera ane Tauru were indiscriminately 
burnt and their inhabitants were shot down ruthlessly. At the 
deserted town of Tauru some 30 persons were killed.^® A few miles 
short of Sohna, column met a stiiOF resistance and the hands of the 
inmates of a Meo village who killed about 60 sepoys of general 
Showers* column in a hand-to-hand fight. Describing the strife of 
a brave Mewati, an eye-witness observes : *‘A Mewati, a huge fellow, 
armed with shield and sword was put up half way down thfe Khud 
(pit) at our feet. Twenty shots were fired ; but no, the bold fellow 
held steadily on, springing from rock to rock, descending to the 
bottom of the dell, and then mounting the opposite face.” ‘‘The 
braveman,’* who put up this heroic show for quite a long time, was 
ultimately put to death by the Guides.^"^ 

The column having cleared the area around Sohna and Tauru 
and leaving it in the charge of a Gorkha detachment of the late 22 
N. I. under Captain Drummond, went to Delhi via Ballubgarh,''® An 
account of his experiences in the district of Gurgaon by Brigadier- 
General Showers is worth noticing : “From the time I entered the 
Gurgaon district, I was in enemies’ country, that in all encamp- 
ments and during every march I was exposed to the attacks of the 

enemies* horsemen I had to anticipate attack from every 

village that I passed, where I had to be continually on the alert 
against an enemy, it may well be understood that the protection of 
captured property was of secondary consideration.’^^® 

In the third week of November 1857 Captain Drummond 
received intelligence through the “native officials** of Sohna, Hathin, 
and Palwal that “Several thousand Meos and a few hundred cavalry 
were congregated about Kot and Rupraka” and had been attacking 

15. Punjab Government Records, VII-II, 209 ; File R/188, P. 19 * File 
R/194, PP. 89-90. 

16. Ball, Ih 58. 

17. Ibid,, II, 59 

i Foreign Secret Consultations, Nos. 21— 27, January 3i 
1858, ^ * 

19. File R/191. 




the “loyal kajput villages** for several days. Besides, they were also 
intent on plundering the Government treasury at Palwal.^'’ Captain 
Drummond, with a small force comprising a detachment of Hodson’s 
Horse, another of Tohana Horse, and some 120 men of the Kumaon 
battalion, at once proceeded to Rupraka. On the way, he was 
reinforced by a company of the 1st Panjab Infantry (Coke’s) from 

Captain Drummond’s force burnt all the Meo villages on the 
Sohna-Rupraka route and destroyed their crops. Panchanka, 
Geopur. Malpuri, Chilli, Utawar, Kot, Mugla Mitaka, Kululka, 
Guraksar, Malluka, Jhanda, etc., were among these unfortunate 
villages.^® When the column reached Rupraka, 3,500 Meos and others 
drawn up in front of the village, gave them a tough fight. Though 
the Meos fought heroically, and lost 400 lives, the day went to the 
British who possessed superior fire power.^® The action at Rupraka, 
says Captain Drummond, was very important in the way that “not 
only have the Meos been defeated, their villages and property burnt 
and destroyed, but the friendly Jat villages who have hitherto been 
kept in a state of siege by constant aggression on the part of their 
enemies are relieved. 

On November 27, 1857 another rebel force commanded by a 
Meo leader Sadur-ud-din attacked the pargana of Pininghwan.®^ A 
British force under Captain Ramsay from Palwal and Gurgaon was 
despatched at once to meet the danger. The force reached Piningh- 
wan on November 29.®® But the rebels were then at a small village 
called Mahun. They made for that village next day and reached 
there at 7 A.M. The Meos took the defensive in the village. Ex- 
change of shots continued till mid-day. Then the British troops 
bombarded the village with guns. Three Gorkha regiments advanced 
upon the village from three directions, and they seized the village in 

20. Foreign Secret Consusltations, Nos, 21-27, Jan, 29, 1858. 

21. Ibid. ; Records Intelligence Department (N. W. Provinces), II, 220. 

22. Foreign Secret Consltations, Nos. 21-27, Jan. 29, 1858. 

23. Ibid. ; Records Intelligence Department, II, 220. 

24. Foreign Secret Consultations, Nos. 21-27, Jan. 29, 1858. 

25. Delhi Division Records, Military Department, Case No. 1 of 1858 ; 
Report by Mr. Macpherson, Joint Magistrate of Gurgaon. 

26. Ibid. 



a short The entire village was destroyed by fire. They cut 

down 28 Meos in the village including Sadur-ud-din’s son, and 
42 more in the neighbouring villages.^® Making an assessment of the 
whole affair, Macpherson, the Joint Magistrate of Gurgaon, and 
the chief actor in the action at Mahun observed : “Altogether I 
look upon it as a most successful affair, I should say about 70 rebels 
killed... The whole number of the rebels assembled was so small 
that their resistance was to me a subject of the greatest surprise. 

Having crushed the last of the risings in Mewat, the column 
effected its retreat, but not before making a severe example of the 
villages and people suspected to have taken part in the rebellion. 
The villages of Shahpur, Bali Khera, Kherla, Chitora, Nahirika, 
Gujar Nagla, Baharpur, Kheri, etc., were set on fire and wiped out of 
existence.30 After sometime many more villages in the neighbour- 
hood of Plninghwan met the same fate for assisting the rebel 
leader Sadr-ud^din and refusing to pay revenue to the British 

The landed property of several of the villages, chaudharis and 
lambardars were confiscated in accordance with the Act XXV of 
1857 and of 1858 for their rebellious proceedings and failure to extend 
any help to the British at the time of sore-need. The Meo villages 
of Jharsa, Kheri, Jalalpur, and Davela in the Jharsa pargana and 
Shikrawah and Ghaghus Kheri in the pargana of Nuh, suffered 
confiscation of the entire landed property of theirs. Bhaktawar 
Singh of Jharsa and TJdampur, Ilahi Bax of Badshahpur and 
Dhanuspur, Mirkhan of Naurangpur and Abu of Bhora and Binola 
in the Jharsa Pargana, Brija Nand of Shahjahaapur, Ramjas and 
Hamza Ali of Chhajunagar, Jaffar, Nurkhan, and Ghariba of 
Rasulpur in the Pargana of Palwal got their shares of land property 
confiscated,®^ Besides that, 235 persons were hanged and many more 
got long term imprisonments for taking part in the rebellion. Heavy 
fines were imposed on the individuals and rebel villages. 

27. Ibid 

28. Ibid 

29. Ibid 

30. Ibid 

31. Ibid 

32. File R/194, PP. * 240-4I|: Statement of landed property confiscated 
[during the Mutiny. 



The civil population in the district of Rohtaks® and especially 
the small communities of Ranghars, the Muslims of Rajput origin 
living in the midst of sturdy Jat population showed signs of great 
disaffection^'^. The chief reason for this type of behaviour was that 
from among them a considerably large number of people had been 
serving in the irregular regiments of the East India Company. All 
these regiments were disaffected. The Sepoys of these regiments 
who came home on leave or after regiments had broken out in revolt, 
brought disaffection along with them to their villages. 

Although seething with the fire of revolt in their hearts, they 
did not break out until May 24, 1857 when Tafzal Hussain, an 
emissary of Emperor Bahadur Shah came to Rohtak with a small 
force. Deputy Commissioner Loch and Tahsildar Bakhtawar Singh 
gave a fight to the Delhi force ; but they proved quite unequal to the 
task of encountering with them. Loch fled to Gohana with 
Thanedar Bhurekhan ; and Tahsildar Bakhtawar Singh also behaved 
in the same vein. Not only these officials, but all the Europeans 
and ^^loyal officers’^ fled away from the district. The rebels burnt 
the office, Kaoheries and bungalows of the British officials. They 
destroyed the records, plundered the Mahajans and Banias and set the 
prisoners free from the district gaol. After accomplishment of all 
these transactions, Tafzal Hussain returned to Delhi with the Rohtak 
treasury amounting to Rs. 1,10,000. On his way he attacked the 
town of Sampla, and burnt all the European buildings. The custom 
bungalows at Meham, Madinah and Mandaunthi were burnt®®. 
The whole of the district plunged into a flood of rebellion. The 
Ranghars, Rajputs, Jats and even low caste people., like Kasais, etc., 
played a prominent role. In the words of Kaye and Malleson : 
“There can be little doubt that the sympathy of the people, from 
noble to peasant, was enlisted on behalf of the representative of 
Moghuls.”®® Even the mafidars of the British Government, who 

33. The district of Rohtak had an area of 1811 square miles with half 
million souls in 1857. It was bounded to the north by Karnal, to the east 
by Dujana and Delhi ; to the south by Gurgaon and to the west by Hissar, and 
Jind, Kaye and Malleson, VI, 140-41. 

34. Kaye and Malleson, VI, 141-41. 

35. Settlement Report of Rohtak district, 37, 

36. Kaye and Malleson, VI, 140-41. 



enjoyed rent free tenures and several other privileges, stood against 
their masters. File R/131 preserved in the State Archives at Patiala 
gives a long list of 59 mafidars who chose to stand against the 
British. They belonged to nearly all the castes living in the district. 

When Tafzal Hussain left Rohtak, the district came in the grip 
of lawlessness. The Settlement Report of Rohtak gives an exag- 
gerated account of the faction fights among different Jat clans ; but 
no incident is of communal strife between Hindus and Muslims.*^ 
The British authorities took a very serious view of the whole situa- 
tion. Deputy Commissioner Loch was given the 60th N. I. from 
the Delhi field force to reduce the district. The corps reached 
Rohtak on May 31 ; but Loch could not realize his aim with its 
help, as it was in a semi-niutinous state and ultimately broke out on 
June 11, and made their way to Delhi.®® 

On July 23, 1857 Emperor Bahadur Shah issued a farman 
to the people of Rohtak expressing his “anxious concern for the 
welfare and comfort of his subjects.” He advised them that ‘'one 
man is not to stretch out the hand of violence against another, and 
that all are to continue in full subjection to the authority of the 
peaceful landholders, who are known to be the well-wishers of the 

In the beginning of August, reports came in the Delhi camp 
that the Ranghars were collected in great force under the leadership 
of Babar Khan. Besides that a considerable body of the ‘rebels from 
Delhi* had stolen a march in the direction of Rohtak. It was feared 
that they might greatly impede the advance of siege train which was 
then on its way to Delhi from Ferozepur and create other havocs in 

To check this force from aggravating the situation in the 
Rohtak district Lt, W. S. R. Hodson was sent with a small force 

37. Settlement Report of the Rohtak district, 39, 

38. See The Spokesman, Aprii 1966. 

39. Trial of Bahadur Shah, 19. 

40. Ibid 

41. Forrest, Selection of letters, despatches, etc., 1 ,352. Hodson says, “A 
party of the enemy... moved out from Delhi by the Najafgarh road with the 
avowed purpose of threatening our communication with Sonepat and GTR or 
of marching to attack Hansi and the Raja of Jind.” 




comprising 6 European officers, 103 men of the Guides, 
Hodson’s Irregular Horse and 25 of Jind Horse, 360 in all by Major 
General Wilson, commanding the Delhi field force in the early hours 
of the 15th August.^2 Hodson reached Kharkhaudah, a consider- 
able village about 20 miles from Rohtak at about 12’ 0 clock the 
same day.*^ The village gave a tough fight to the lieutenant and 
especially the “leave men of the irregular corpse who had taken 
refuge in one of the strong buildings belonging to a lambardar of the 
village right in the centre of the town.”^^ The sepoys fought well 
under the inspiring leadership of Risaldar Bisarat Ali, a man lately 
decorated with the Order of Merit. Even Hodson admitted “They 
fought like devils”.*® But their superior number and fire power 
overpowered and destroyed the rebels.*® The British suffered consi- 
derable losses on their side.*’ 

Hardly had Hodson finished this encounter, when intelligence 
reached him that Rohtak had become rallying point of a consider- 
ably large number of rebels and that they were determined to oppose 
his advance at any cost.*® Ele at once left Kharkhaudah and reached 
Bohar. Then after a short halt and respite pushed on for Rohtak 
where he reached at about 4 O’ clock the next afternoon.*® 

Here he formed his men just outside the town and rode 
forward with two officers and a few sowars to reconnoitre.®® But 
soon his movements were checked by the enemies who had collected 
themselves in a considerably large numbers inside a fortified 
building in the vicinity of the old civil station. Hodson efifected 
retreat and made a fresh attack after a short-while with full force. 
Two troops to the right, and the same number to the left with 
orders to take up defensive positions, he made a dash at the main 

42. Forrest, I, 352 ; Cave Brown, II. 37. 

43. Ibid., 352 and Hodson, Twelve Years of a Soldier’s life in India, 

44. Forrest, I, 352. 

45. Hodson, 265. 

46. Cave Brown, TI, 37 gives the number of rebel-sepoys killed as 26 in- 
cluding Risaldar Bisharat Ali Khan, 

47. Forrest, I, 352, 

48. Cave Brown, 11, 38. 

49. Ibid 

50. Forrest, I, 352-54. 

51. Ibid 



gate with the remaining force.®^ But the Indian sepoys repulsed his 
attack successfully. Nor could they make an entry from any 
other side.^® Hodson withdrew his men to the open space in 
the Kacheri compound near the junction of the roads coming in 
from Delhi, Bohar and the town of Rohtak and bivouacked there 
for the night,®* 

On the other hand when the British column was relaxing in 
the night, Babar Khan, the chief of the Ranghars was busy collecting 
a cavalry force on the Hansi road®^. He returned to Rohtak in the 
early hours of July 17 with some 300 Ranghar-horsemen belonging 
to different irregular cavalry regiments. He launched a fierce 
attack on Hodson, who was already alerted by many “loyal 
people” of the town who had supplied him with not only informa- 
tion regarding the activities of Babar Khan but also rations and 
other required commodities.®® A large body of horsemen dashed 
up the road from the town at speed, followed by a mass of footmen 
around with swords and matchlocks, “Certainly not less than 900 
or 1,000 in numbers.”®^ A fierce fight took place. After short- 
while the Indians left the open field and retired to bushy hides in 
close proximity of the town and here “under shelter, they in- 
cessantly poured in the galling fire.”®^ 

As long as the Indians were in that position, the British 
cavalry could cause little harm to them. The only hope lay in 
drawing them out. To effect this, Hodson sent out “one troop 
to the right.., second to the left. ..and placed the rest in the 
centre, pushing the guides to the front/’®® Thus disposed they 
defied their enemies’ efforts to outflank them presenting a front 
where ever they appeared. Hodson then ordered his troops to retire 
slowly and alternately. The manouvre succeeded. On seeing 
the cavalry retiring, the Indians rushed on them. When he had 
drawn them out about three quarters of a mile in the open Hodson 

52. Cave Brown, II, 38. 

53. Ibid 

54. Forrest, I, 352-54. 

55. Forrest, 1.352-55 ; Hodson, 267-68. 

56. Cave Brown, II, 38. 

57. Hodson, 267-68. 

58. Cave Brown, II, 39. 

59. Ibid 



ordered his party to halt and charge. The Indians never expected 
this and the sudden attack disorganised their efforts. The Guides, 
being in the rear, as they retired, launched a fierce attack on the 
enemy and took a heavy toll. As the situation warranted the 
Indian force again made a retreat, Hodson did not follow them. 
And that was the end of the indecisives battle of Rohtak where both 
the parties broke without registering victory on each other 
Hodson tells his story thus, “Unfortunately I had no ammunition 
left and therefore, could not without unprudence remain so close to 
the town filled with matchlock menj we marched quietely to the 
north of the town and encamped near the first friendly village that 
we came On the 18th, the rebels evacuated the district of 

Rohtak and went to Bassi, six miles from Hansi in considerably 
diminished number. On the otherhand Hodson left Rohtak for 
Delhi, leaving the district and its important towns, such as Khar- 
khaudah, Sampla, Sonepat, Meham, Gohana, etc., under the care 
and watch of the Raja of Jind and some local Chaudharis.®* 


In the district of Hissar“^ the uprising of the troops stationed 
at its chief towns of Hissar, Hansi and Sirsa, set the ball of rebellion 
rolling in the last week of May 1857^®. There was quick reaction 
among the civil population and they threw themselves heart and 
soul into the rising®’. “The district villagers,” reports an eye- 

60. Forrest, T, 352-57. 

61. Hodson* 267-68. 

62. Forrest, I, 352-57. 

63. Ibid 

64. File R/131 contains a long list of such local chaudharis Tahsil-wise who 
extended all sorts of help to Lt. Hodson with money and material and later on 
held their local places for the British. They were afterwords handsomely 
rewarded for these services. These loyal persons did not belong to one or two 
particular castes or communities, but to many, such as Jats, Ranghars, Mahajans, 
Bhat, Brahamans, etc, 

65. The district of Hissar, with an area of 3,540 square miles and the 
population of 400,000 souls, in 1857, was bounded by the Patiala state in the 
north, the Jind state and the Rohtak district in the south and south east ; and 
the Bikaner slate on the west. Kaye and Malleson, YI, 139. 

66. See The Spokesman, April 1966, for a detailed account of the sepoy 
mutinies at Hissar, Hansi and Sirsa. 

67. Kaye and Malleson, VI, 139. 

68. Dr. Minas, Narrative, vide Chick, 713. 



witness, ‘^created unheard of mischiefs®^” —killed the European 
oflScials, their women and children, plundered their bungalows, 
destroyed the offices, Kacheries, gaols and so on, looted the Maha- 
jans, Banias and other *loyal elements’ and destroyed all that belonged 
to the British.®® 

Muhammad Azira, the Assistant Patrol of Bhattu, who happen- 
ed to be a prince of the royal family of Delhi proclaimed the end of 
the British rule and established his authority on behalf of Emperor 
Bahadur Shah throught the length and breadth of the district. At 
Hansi, a Hukam Chand, his nephew Faquir Chand and friend Meena 
Beg played prominent role. They addressed letters to Emperor 
Bahadur Shah and offered services of men, money and material 
to him’®. 

In the first week of June, Prince Muhammad Azim, alongwith 
a strong force from Hariyana, went to Delhi and offered his services 
to Emperor Bahadur Shah. But his absence from that important 
region proved very harmful. General Van Courtland, the deputy 
commissioner of Ferozepur, at the instance of Sir John Lawrence, 
the Chief Commissioner marched for the reduction of Hissar district, 
with a force of 550 men and 2 guns. Captain Robertson acted as a 
political officer with the column.’^ His column was reinforced by 
some 120 men of the Kashmir raj at Malaut, a considerable village 
near Sirsa’*, 

The force did not meet any hindrance until they arrived at 
Udha, where Nur Muhammad Khan, the Nawab of Rania’®, opposed 
them with a force of 3 to 4 thousand strong on June 17. A desperate 
battle was fought by the Nawab and his followers, but they were 
defeated with about 530 men killed’^. Nawab Nur Muhammad 

69. Foreign Secret Consultations, Nos. 100-103, 25 Sep. 1857 ; Hissar 
district Gazetteer, 35 j Kanhiya Lai, 196-99, Chick, 706-7 ; Jawala Sahai, 290-91 

70. Chick, 714-15 ; Jawala Sahai, 290, 

71. Hissar District Gazetteer, 35. 

72. Ibid 

73. The state of Rania was confiscated by the British Government quite 
*ong before the outbreak of the mutiny. The present nawab and his relatives 
used to get a monthly pension as under: -Nawab Nur Muhammad Khan Rs. 
200 per month ; Grand mother of the Nawab Rs, 100 per month ; Mother (1) 
Rs. 50 ; Gohar Ali (unde) Rs. 125 ; other relatives Rs. 1031. See Foreign Secret 
Consultations, 204-07, 9 July, 1857. 

74* Dr. Minias’ Narrative, vide Chick, 7 10-12, 



Khan with his followers effected escape but he was caught while 
passing through the Ludhiana district and condemned to death by 
hanging’®. On June 18, the village of Chatravan, where Capt. 
Hillard and his brother-in-law were killed, was attacked. The villagers 
were ruthlessly butcherd and the village was burnt to ashes’®. Again 
the column had hardly measured a few miles after Udha, when aa“ 
other force of the Bhaitis comprising several thousand strong gave a 
tough fight to the column at village Khirka, on the left bank of the 
Ghaggar river on June 19. But they also met the same fate as their 
brothers had met at Udha and lost as many as 300 lives”. Thus 
overcoming the stiff opposition that they met and destroying 
the villages they passed through, the column reached Sirsa on June 
20.’®. Here General Vancourtlandt received second reinforcement 
consisting of 800 men and 2 guns from the Raja of Bikaner”. With 
fire and blood, the General resettled the region of Sirsa in a little more 
than a fortnights time. The civil organisation of the region was 
reestablished and soon the situation reverted to its former state.®® 

General Vancourtlandt, along with the field force, left Sirsa 
on July 8.®^ Meeting oppositition at the hands of the villagers 
where he passed through the General reached Hissar via Fatiabad 
on July n. General massacre of the civil population in and around 
Hissar, especially the Bhattis, Ranghars and Pachads and other low 
caste Muslims went on for many days. The house of Muhammad 
Azlm in Hissar was completely destroyed and his Begam was made 
captive®^. On knowing these developments Emperor Bahadur Shah 
sent Prince Azim to Hissar from Delhi with a big force consisting 
of 1500 cavalry, 500 infantry and 3 guns.®® Prince’s arrival in his 
country was hailed by the people and several thousand of them collec- 
ted round him in a short time. Meanwhile, General Vancourtlandt, 

75. Foreign Secret Consultation, 78, 25 Sept., 1857. 

76. Hissar District Gazetteer, 35-35. 

77. Chick, 710-12 ; Foreign Secret Consultation, 54, 31 July. 1857. 

78. Hissar District Gazetteer. 35-36. 

79. Ibid 

80. Ibid 

81. Dr. Minas’ Narrative, vide Chick, 712. 

82. Ibid , 712-14. 

83. Hissar District Gazetteer, 36. 



leaving a strong garrison force under Capt Mild May at Hissa went 
to Hansi, where the situation was deteriorating. Order was soon 
restored in Hansi after the General’s arrival. General had hardly 
settled Hansi when a fierce attack was launched on Hissar by Prince 
Azim in a bid (o recover his wife. In a bloody battle, in which 300 
rebele lost their lives, the ga.rrison force was over-powered; but 
meanwhile the reinforcements arrived from Hansi and Prince Azim 
had to flee for his life, losing the battle.^^ On September 2 , the 
rebel forces attacked Tosham, the headquarters of the tehsil and 
killed all the government officials—Tehsildar Nandpal, Thanedar 
Pyare Lai, Qanungo Khazan Singh and plundered the treasury and 
the loyal bankers.^s Rebels proceeded towards Hansi. General 
Vancourt Landt advanced tojmeet the rebel force . On August 6, he 
met an insurgent force at village Hajimpur near Hansi, He subdued 
the rebels and burnt the village,®® 

But this in no way affected the strength of the rebels whose 
ranks were further swelled by the rebels of the 10th Light cavalry of 
Ferozepur and a number of Jhajjar So war The force was stationed 

at a considerable village Mangala. This caused some anxiety to 
Gen. Vancourtlandt. He sent a strong force under Capt. Pearse 
to meet the rebels on September 10, 1857.®® A heroic struggle was 
waged by the rebels under the inspiring deadership of Prince Azim. 
But the superior fire power of the British defeated the rebels. Their 
loss was 400 dead ; whereas the loss of the British side was quite 
negligible when compared with that of tlie enemy.®® The (village of 
Mangala was burnt down.®®. On September 30, Prince Azim fought 
the last battle with the British forces at Jamalpur but again he lost 
the battle.®^ 

Prince Azim left Hissar along with his followers and moved 
down to district Gurgaon, where Rao Tula Ram was struggling against 

84. Chick, 714 ; Hissar District Gazetteer, 36. 

85. Hissar District Gazetteer, 36. 

86. Ibid 

87. Chick, 714-15, 

88. Ibid 

89. Ibid 

90. Hissar District Gazetteer, 36. 

91. Ibid ; Chick, 716. 



the British in Ahirwal.®^ He formed union with the Rao and 
fought a desperate battle against British at Narnaul on November 
16, 1857.®® Nothing was heard of him after the fall of Narnaul. 

Soon after the work of persecution started in the whole of 
the district. Nearly 133 persons were hanged and their properties 
were confiscated®"^. Hukam Chand and Faqir Chand of Hansi, 
who had given up the slogans of revolt against the British ever 
since General Van Courtlandt had entered the district, and had 
been serving the British cause with fullest loyalty in the revenue 
department, were arrested on the discovery of their earlier letters 
sent to Emperor Bahadur Shah. Both of them were hanged and 
their entire property was confiscated.®® Besides, the proprietory 
rights of seven villages— -Mangali, Jamalpur, Hajimpur, Udha, 
Chatravan, Khirka, and Jodhka were forefeited while havy fines 
were levied on many more,®® 


The district of Pan! pat, which was considered to be “the 
most turbulent distric in the North West Province,”®^ did not 
give as much trouble as expected during the uprising. Being on 
the Grand Trunk Road between Karnal and Delhi, it was always 
the foot-fall of the British army marching to and from Delhi 
and Panjab that resounded in the ears of civil population of the 
district,®® Besides that, all the important towns of district were 
heavily protected by the forces of the Patiala and find chiefs.^®® 

The civil population rose in almost every big village. Com- 
menting on the state of the district, Capt MacAndrew informed 
the Government of India on June, 1857: “I find the country... 
considerably disorganised ; the revenue and police officers are in 
the state of flight ; many of the Zamindars and big villages are 
quite refractory /’^®^ 

92. Ahirwal literally means the ‘home of the Ahirs*. 

93. Chick, 716. 

94. Ibid,, Hissar District Gazetteer, 36, 

95. File R/269, 

96. Chick, 716; Hissar District Gazetteer, 36. 

97. The district of Panipat had an area of 2.336 square miles and population 
of 400,000 in 1857. See, Kaye and Malleson, VI, 139. 

98. /W„VI, 150 

99. Ibid. 

100. Punjab Government Records, VIII, I, 27-28 

}01. Yadav, K.C., Unpublished Ph.P, Thesis : Revolt of 1857 in PanJab, 


The villages of Rohan, Kukeor, Karawari, Shah Partik, 
Riilowdh, Jagdishpur, Sandhu Kalan, Murshidpur, Malik Sunder 
Lai, Malik Khairi, Fazilpur, Kuberpur, Sultanpur, Patee 
Musalmanan in Sonepat Tehsil and Turuf Rajputana, Sunarai, 
Bursut, Surut and Orlana Khurd were some of the prominent 
villages in other parts of the district who refused to pay land 
revenue and defied the British rule.^®* 

To bring the people to order, a force of about 250 troops 
was sent from Karnal under Captain Huges of 1st Panjab Cavalry 
on July 13, 1857. This force was checked by a force of the Jats 
comprising 900 matchlockmen and many mounted sowars at 
village Bulleh, a considerable village 25 miles from Karnal. After 
fierce fight that lasted a short while, the Jats compelled the enemy 
to flee away.^®* Captain Hughes did not give way to despair at 
his failure, He at once despatched massenger to Karnal for 
reinforcements to give a fresh fight to the enemy. 

He encamped in jungle at a short distance from the town. But 
during the night the Ranghars flocked in from the neighbouring 
villages to the number of some 3,000 and under shelter of the 
small jungle and the banks of a canal, kept up a harassing fire. 
Captain Hughes could not stand the enemy-pressure and at day 
break of July 14 effected his retreat. Meanwhile the reinforce- 
ments comprising two guns of the Nawab of Karnal and his 
cavalrymen, and 50 sowars of the Patiala raj arrived^®^. Coming 
up unnoticed by the enemy, they suddenly opend fire on their 
hideouts. After much loss the Ranghars fled away.^®® 

The village of Bulleh was re-attacked. The Jats took up 
the defensive in a strong building, the double barrickades of 
which could defy the enemy without artillery. The fire of guns 
of the British force caused considerable damage to the building 
and its inmates coming in the open launched an attack on the 
enemy. The British cavalry, by a flank manoeuvre, got between 
the rebles and the town— people with speed and completely 
encircled them. In the grim battle that ensued, nearly 100 Jats 
fell and the day was lost. The losses of the British side were 
comparatively less. The cavalry lost in all two native officers and 
three troopers and fifteen wounded, besides. 

102 Ibid, 103. Ibid. 

104, Cave Brown^ II, 37. 105, Ibid. 





several horses icille<i. Captain Hugties^ own horse receivd three 

The villages around Bulleh were ransacked and made to pay the 
arrears and revenue and heavy fines But this was in no way a 
lesson for the insurgents. Hardly had the British force left Karnal, 
than they again started their rebellious Proceedings Next a huge force 
assembled at the village of Julmana and showed fight, At the 
instance of the commissioner of the Cis- Sutlej Divistion Lieut- 
Pearson attacked the rebel force. But so strong was their position 
that he failed to register victory over thorn. He asked for reinforce- 
ment but could not get any owing to Ihe further deterioration of 
atmosphere at Panipat and Atnbala. 

The situation still worsened by the outbreak of the mutinies at Phi- 
Hour andJullundur in the second week of June 1857. The Deputy Corn- 
mis sioncr of Panipat received the intimation on June 8 that “the rebels 
(from Jullundur) being a numerous body might be expected to march 
upon Ambala or Patiala* In either of the cases Thanesar was pretty 
sure of a visit from them”. The Maharaja of Patiala took an alarm 
at it and in the words of the Deputy Commissioner of Thanesar, 
“there was not a Patiala soldier, horse or foot left in the Thancsor 
district on the night of June 8”. Under such circumstances Lieut. 
Pearson was called back leaving Julmana as it was.^o^ 

Jullundur mutineers proceeded to Delhi and did not attack any of 
these places. 

The danger thus averted, attention was redirected on the refrac- 
tory civil population and the Pargana of Kaithal more than the 
village of Julmana had become disorganized. On June 15, Leiut. 
Parson set on this tour of settling this pargana. He subdued all the 
villages without meeting any stiiff opposition Captain Mac Niele, the 
Deputy Commissioner of Thanesar advanced towards the Ladwa 
Tahsil and attacked and destroyed the refractory villages. 

Towards the westward side the trouble was still brewing The 
Ranghars collected in great number, attacked the Thana of Asundh 
and captured it without meeting any opposition at the hands of the 

106. Cave Brown, II, 37 says that Rs, JOO was the fine imposed on the village 
of Bulleh. 

J07. Mutiny Report of the Thanear district, Punjab Government, 



police stationed therein. On hearing af this Lieut. Pearson, advanced 
towards Asundh with a strong force. But so great was the position 
of the Ranghars in that country that he could not dare attack them. 
On the contrary he was attacked and pushed back by them.^“® 

Taking Patiala force and all other available troops with him 
Captain Macneil assumed the work of subduing the Asundh and Julml- 
ana and other refactory villages. He feft his place on July 16 via Karnal. 
The situation had greatly changed by then. General Van Court- 
landt was successfully reducing the district of Hissar and the Rohtak 
district was already restored. The village of Asundh was stormed 
and captured without any opposition on the part of its inhabitants. 
It was subsequently burnt to ashes.^®‘* Then the villages of Julmana 
and Chatur also met the same fate. Many more villages were 
attacked and reduced. All the defaulting villiges gave in.^^® 


In the district of Ambala there were clear signs in the begin- 
ing as if the civil population would rise enmasse against the British. 
But the strict measures applied by the authorities with the support of 
the troops of Patiala, Nabha, Jind and other petty chiefs helped them 
in nipping the revolt in the bud, excepting in a few cases. 

There was a rising at Rupar under the leadership of Sardar 
Mohar Singh. He was a Kardar of the Ex-ruler of Rupar Sardar 
Bhup Singh, who had been deposed for helping the Sikhs against the 
British during the Anglo-Sikh wars.^^i He was a popular figure in 
and around Rupar. People looked to him for guidance and advice 
and more particularly at such critical times as during the mutiny. 
He openly preached sedition and asked people to throw off the 
British yoke as the same had been in other parts of India. 

Although no definite evidence is in hand regarding his conspir- 
ing with the potentates of the nearby states, he was supposed to have 
instigated many persons of high rank and some hill chiefs too ; that 

Records, VIII-I, P. 31. 

108. Ibidt,, 32. 

109. Ibid. 

1 10. Ibid. 

lU. Punjab Government Records, VIIT-I, 39 ; Cave Brown, 1, 212# 
112. Ibid. 


. 69 


' of Nalagarh being chief among Things went on as such 

till the month of June when the vaguely disaffected sepoys of the 
5th N.L came from Ambala to Rupar. Soon Sardar Mohar Singh 
established communication with them and planned to rise in open 

Captain Gardener, officer commanding the 5th N. I., 
however, smelled revolt and cautioned his men to refrain from any 
such activity. But the sepoys refused to listen to him and openly 
insulted him.^^® 

The captain reported the whole matter to the authorities at 
Ambala, who asked him to arrest Sardar Mohar Singh and send 
him to Ambala for trial. But only Gardener knew how difficult was 
his job. The sepoys declared ^'their intentions to protect him 
(Sardar Mohar Singh) and swore be should never be taken 

This happening further deteriorated the situation. Sardar 
Mohar Singh took the offensive and attacked the Tehsil head- 
quarters. But he was defeated by the police and the jagirdari levies 
of the Singhpuria Sardars.^^^ The Vanquished Sardar retired to a 
nearby jungle. Soon after the 5th N. I. was recalled to Ambala.^i® 
The troops had hardly left the station of Rupar, when the police 
apprehended Sardar Mohar Singh and sent him to Ambala for 
trial. Here he was tried along with his three followers, was found 
guilty, and executed.^^® 

Whole of the population of the district sympathised with the 
rebels’ cause. When the Jullundur mutineers passed through the 
district on their way from Rupar to Delhi in the month of June, 
they received whole-hearted support from the people. This fact has 
been admitted by Forsyth, the deputy commissioner, thus : ‘^One 
fact was evident to all engaged in the pursuit that the population had 

113. Punjab Govemment Records, YIII-I, p, 36. 

114. Ibid. 

115. Cave Browo, I, 212. 

116. Ibid. 

117. Levies at Rupar numbered 128 foot and 49 sowars. See Punjab 
Government Records, VIIlT, 41, 

118. Ibid., 39. 

119. Ibid. 



decidedly not enlisted themselves warmly on the part of the Govern- 
ment, not a man turned out who was not compelled to do so through 
the fear of the loss of his Jagir and in many instances information 
collected to deceive was all that we could obtain.**^^® He cited 
some such examples. “The Mir of Garhikotah,*’ he said, “showed 
great lukewarmness, and I fined him one thousand rupees for his 
conduct.^21 The Pathans of Khizarbad and the villages of Ferozepur, 
Naraingarb, Thuska and Govindpur were heavily mulcatcd^^® (for 
rebellious behaviour).** 

The British authorities of the district were, as a matter of fact, 
surprised to see the indifferent and unsympathetic attitude of the 
people — the peasants, zamindars and even the Banias and the 
Mahajans throughout the district. In the words of Forsyth, “On 
this occasion the wealthy bankers of Jagadhari displaced a spirit of 
disloyalty and closefistedness onworthy of a class who owe all their 
prosperity to the fostering care and protection of the British Govern- 

. 120. Report of the Deputy Commissioner of Ambala, vide Punjab Govern- 
ment Records, VIII-I, p. 41. 

121. The Mir fell under suspicion in consequence of a letter supposed to 
have been written by his son-in-law, Abdul Husain from Muzalfar Nagar in the 
month of September. This led to the search of his fort, where a large quantity 
of gun powder, sulphur, etc., was found. In the month of June, he entertained 
and helped the Jullundur mutineers. Consequently his fort was dismantled by 
the order of the Chief Court and heavy fine was imposed upon him. See 
Punjab Government Records, VIII-I, 42. 

122. Punjab Government Records, VIII-I, 41. 

123. Ibid„A2. 




In response to the clarion call given by Mahatma Gandhi, 
Delhi observed hartal on 30 March 1919 to protest against the 
Rowlatt Act. The hartal in the city was full and complete. “The 
universal character of hartal”, wrote Chief Commissioner of Delhi, 
“was, it must be confessed, a surprise to the officials."^ 

In face of the surging crowds, the authorities called for army 
from the Red Fort. It is well known that the hartal lead to firing 
on the crowds before the Railway Station. The police fired buck- 
shots and the army used service ammunition. According to the 
Bombay Chronicle t 5 April, 1919, the authorities used soft-nosed 
solid nickle tube and velopex bullets. The Government however 
denied it 3 Another incident worth recalling is that in the evening 
Swami Shraddhanand opened his chest before the insolent soldiers 
standing as guard near the Clock Tower, facing Municipal Hall and 
told them : “1 am standing, fire.”® The incident might have taken 
an ugly turn, but for arrival there, by chance, of Orde, a superinten- 
dent, C I.D. The hartal in Delhi continued from 30 March to 18 
April 1919. 

In the first week of April serious and organized efforts were 
made to spread the gospel of hartal far and wide beyond Delhi. 
The first area to have come under the influence of the gospel of' 
hartal was Hariyana. The reasons for such a behaviour were many. 
Hariyana was till 1857 a part and parcel of Delhi and still looked to 
the imperial city as a centre of their activity. The association of 
Swami Shraddhanand with Delhi during the Satyagraha was a direct 
source of inspiration to the people of Hariyana where the influence 

1. Memorandum by Chief Commissioner Delhi on the Delhi Disturbances; 
Home Political B Proceedings, HXAAl, May 1919. 

2, Home Political B Proceedings, I92-95i April 1919. 

3*. Home Political Deposit Proceedings, 20, May 1919. 



of Arya Samaj was supreme. Pan-Iskmic influence from Delhi was 
also at work. So, diflferent kinds of appeals were made to different 
classes of people."* 

The District of Rohtak and the Panipat Tehsil of Kama), 
being strong-holds of Arya Samaj, eagerly looked to Delhi for inspi- 
ration. There were local leaders genuinely interested in the cause 
of national movement. Piru Singh, Manager of the Arya Samaj 
Gurukul at Mathindu was throughout very active in Bahadurgarh 
and was in close touch with Swami Shraddhanand. Similarly the 
conduct of Rai Sahib Chhotu Ram, a strong Arya Samaj ist of great 
influence, was stigmatised by the Deputy Commissioner as ‘actively 

During the first half of April, people in large numbers from 
Rohtak, Sonepat, Bahadurgarh and the adtoining towns on the main 
railway lines daily visited Delhi, acquainted themselves with the 
development of events and equipped with pamphlets and hand-bills 
issued by Delhi political organisations, returned by the train which 
reached Rohtak at 7*10 P.M. The daily arrival of this train used 
to be attended by the gathering of crowds of people near Railway 
Stations and the news brought back was eagerly canvassed 
throughout the towns.® 

Emissaries from Delhi, prominent among whom was Maulvi 
Bashir Ahmed convened mass meetings and delivered inflamatory 
speeches. Economic pressure in the form of dishonouring hundies 
and social boycott was also brought to bear on the defaulting in- 
dividuals and towns. For instance, the town of fieri did not observe 
hartal on 6 April. So the Delhi agitators, as an object lesson caused 
ahundi ofLala Lakshmi Narayan, banker, Rais, and Honorary 
Magistrate to be dishonoured. A hartal on 11 April followed. 
Similarly Ambala Cantt. failed to observe hartal on 6th April. 
Thereupon the shopkeepers received letters from Delhi threatening 
social boycott. Some of the retailers who happened to visit whole- 
sale piece goods and other merchants at Delhi were refused goods. 
On 12 April, two emissaries from Delhi came and ordered a general 

4. Home Political A Proceedings^ 144-62, June 1919, 

5. Hunter Committee Evidence, VI, 221 . 

6. Report of Major Ferrar, dated 24 April, 1919, 



hartal at Ambala Cantt. the following day.'’' The hartal was all a 
success and was followed by a public meetiug in the afternoon. The 
hartal at Gohana in Karnal district, and other towns and villages 
have been attributed to similar influences.® 

A number of emissaries from Delhi, prominent among them 
being Surrendera Nath Sharma who was later prosecuted and 
sentenced to 3 years imprisonment under the Defence of India Act, 
visited almost all the small towns in Hariyana The hartal at 
Rewari, Gurgaon, Faridabad, Ballabgarh, Palwal, Hodal, Sohna, 
Nuh, Biobbar, and Punahanna in Gurgaon District and at Lodwa, 
Shahabad, Kaitbal in Karnal have been attributed to direct pressure 
from Delhi.® Hissar rather went a step ahead. Emulating Delhi, 
the President of Arya Samaj was invited to the pulpit at the Sirsa 
Juma Masjid on 12 April and the next day at Hissar Idgah. Stu- 
dents from Delhi assisted in promoting hartal at Bhiwani on 
6 April. 

The influence exerted by Delhi on Hariyana and other parts of 
the Panjab prompted Michael O’Dwyer, Lt. Governor, Panjab to 
urge on 19 April 1919, the day Delhi quietened down, to ‘ respect- 
fully and very strongly urge” the Government of India to extend 
Martial Law to Delhi, as without that there was little chance of 
Hariyana calming down.^^ The following day, the Government of 
India conveyed to the Chief Commissioner Delhi, the purport of 
request from Panjab and also pointed to the impact of Delhi on the 
western districts of U. P. Since Delhi had already quietened down, 
the reply of Mr. Barron, Chief Commissioner, Delhi was firm that 
“in the context of present circumstances, there is no justification for 
Promulgation of Martial Law.*’^® 

This was followed by a conference attended by William Vincet, 
Home Member, James Du Boulay, Secretary Home Department, 
Charles Cleveland, Director Central Intelligence and Hare Scott, the 

7. Ibid , dated TI April, 1919. 

8. Home Political A Proceedings, 1919, 

9. Ibid ; Hunter Committee Evidence, I, 221-22. 

10. Ibid, 

11. dated 19 April, 1919 from Chief-Secretary, Panjab to Secre- 
tary Home, Government of India. 

12. dated 21 April, 1919 from Chief Commissioner Delhi to Se-i 
cretary Home, Government of India, 


Senior Superintendent Police, Delhi, when keeping in view the 
categorical reply from the Chief Commissioner, it was finally decided 
not to go in for Martial Law at Delhi 

To judge the extent of impact of Delhi on the adjoining areas 
and the means to stop it, a conference was held on 24 April, at 
Chief Commissioner’s residence. It was attended by Mr. Barron, 
Chief Commissioner, Delhi, Lt. Col, Beadon, Deputy Commissioner, 
Delhi, Mr. Hare Scott, Senior Superintendent Police, Delhi, Mr. 
Trevaskis Deputy Commissioner, Gurgaon and Major Ferrar, Joint 
Deputy Commissioner, Lahore who was deputed on special duty by 
the Panjab Government.^* Mr. Barron regarded the information 
forthcoming from Panjab as vague and not of much help. Major 
Ferrar, however, to acquaint himself with the events, cotacted the 
local authorities for first hand information and submitted separate 
reports on Rohtak, Gurgaon and Ambala, which are good source of 

Armed with new evidence, the Lt. Governor Panjab, again 
advocated the extension of Martial Law to Delhi.^® Mr. Barron’s 
reply to the proposal was an emphatic no.^’ The reply caused a 
dismay in the Home Department, and Mr. Vincent, Home Member 
wrote, “what we must insist on is increased vigilance in Delhi and 
timely detailed information from other provinces. If there is any 
further outbreak in Delhi, as I anticipate in the near future, martial 
law will have to be enforced there atonce if the Civil authorities are 
unable to check disorder promptly and eflfectively.”^® 

Because of its proximity to Delhi, and the influence of Arya 
Samaj, Hariyana did not lag behind in the freedom struggle. The 
movement was not confined to the cities and towns, but percolated 
to the masses in the country side. This was an index of political 
consciousness of Hariyana as early as 1919. 

13. Home Political A Proceedings, 144-62, June 1919. 

14. Ibid. 

15. Ibid. 

16. D. 0. dated, 29 April, 1919, from Chief Sec. Panjab to Deputy Sec* 
Home, Government of India. 

17. Letter lAo 76-C-Hom3, dated, I M ly, 1919 from Chief Commissioner, 
Delhi to Sec. Home, Government of India. 

}8, Minutes, dated 6 May, 1919. 




The Panjab- Reorganization Bill passed by the Indian Parlia- 
ment on September 10, 1966 bifurcated the bilingual state of Pan- 
jab and made provision for the setting up of the new state of Hari- 
yana comprising the districts of Gurgaon, Mahendragarh, Rohtak, 
Hissar, Karnal and some parts of the Sangrur and Ambala districts.^ 
Covering an area of nearly 16,835 square miles and a population 
of 76,10,700 souls, the new state forms 35*4S percent, and 37 64 
percent of the entire Panjab’s area and population respectively 


Before we describe the land and the people of Hariyana let 
us see how the name Hariyana has come into vogue. This name is 
a matter of controversy which admits of diverse interpretations. 
The Imperial Gazetteer of India says that word Hariyana is probably 
derived from Hari^ green and is reminiscent of time when this was 
a rich and fertile tract.® A. Seton* also subscribes to this view. 
F. Wilson, m Punjab Notes and Queries i opines that “Hariyana is 
so called because it was formerly a green forest (Haryalban) The 
Hissar District Gazetteer, on the basis of oral tradition, attributes 
the name to Raja Harishchandra, who is said to have come from 
Oudh at some undefined period and peopled this part of country.® 
It also gives a second view that it stems from the word ‘Hari* (slain) 
in allusion to a tradition of great slaughter of Kshtriyas by Parashu 
Ram on 21 different occasions.’^ The Settlement Report of Hissar 
says that this name is derived from Hariban, a wild plant 

1. This was based upon the recommendations of ‘The Punjab Boundary 
Commission’ vide their Report, May 31, 1966, para 136, point 3, p. 49. 

2. The Spokesman, Vol, XV, No. 47, July 25, 1966. 

3. Vol. Xm, 54. 

4 . Foreign Political Consultation, No. 34, July 22, 1809 (N. A. I.) 

5. No. 547, 1, 67. 

6. P.5. 

7. P.5. 


M HARIYANA: studies in history and politics 

with which the area was formerly said to te oVergrown.® Maharaj 
Krishan, the author of Tarikh-i-Zillah Rohtak, tells us that this re- 
gion was previously inhabited by robbers and dacoits and the name 
is derived from the act of robbery (Haran) on the. part of these 
people.** Dharnidhar in his book Akhand Prakash^^ says that this 
vord comes from “Haribanka” connected with the worship of Hari, 
the Lord Indra. Since the tract is a dry one, its people worship 
Indra (Hari) always for rain. Pandit Girish Chandra Avasthi traces 
its origin in Rigveda where Hariyana is used as a qualifying adject- 
ive with the name of a King Varuraja. This king, he says, ruled : 
over this tract ; and as such, the region came to be known as Hari- 
yana after him.^^ Acharya Bhagvan Dev says that this name has been 
derived from ifor, the Lord Mahadeva, who was worshipped and is be- 
ing worshipped even today very popularly by the people of this area.^^ 
Maha Pandit Rahul Sankratyayana was of the opinion that this 
word was a corrupt form of **Haridhankya^\ a term often used for 
this region in the ancient literature.^® Pandit Bhagvaddutt holds the 
view that the word has come from the Dasharn—i\iQ place 
having ten forts which has been used for this region in the Maha- 
bharta.^^ Dr. Hari Ram Gupta is of the opinion that this region 
being the earliest home of the Aryas was called the ‘Aryana’ or the 
abode of the Aryas, like Ludhiana, the region of the Lodhis and 
Bhattiana, the home of the Bhattis,^® 

All these views are based on traditions and conjectures, which 
are, unfortunately, not very old. None of these accounts go beyond 
the 1 9th century. Nor do we find their statements supported and 
confirmed by any historical evidence. As such the view expressed 
by Dr. Buddha Prakash seems to us more authentic. He says that 
since this region was inhabited by the Abhiras during the post-Maha- 
bharat period, it came to be called after their name : Abhirayana= 
Ahirayanas=sHirayana = Hariyana.^® Prof. Vasudeva Saran Aggarwal 

8. Ibid, 

9. Cited by Bhagvan Dev, Vir Bhumi Hariyana, pp. 2-3. 

10. Cited by Dr. Shankar Lai, Hariyana Pradesh Ka Lok-Sahitya, pp. 57-58, 

11. Ved Dharatal,p.n9. 

12. Bhagvan Dev, pp. 42-80. 

13. Quoted by Dr. Shankar Lai Yadav, p. 59. 

14. Quoted by Bhagvan Dev, p. 38. 

15. This view was expressed by him in the course of a discussion. 

16. Hariyana Research Journal, Vol. I, No. 1, p. 1. 


hariyana-^the land and the people 

also looked eye to eye with Dr. Buddha Prakash on this point.^’ 
Unlike all other views, this view is supported by historical evidence 
too. The Kamasutra says this region was called after the name of 
its Abhira-inhabitants and the Shri-Kantha Janpada and Kurukshe- 
tra were parts of it.^s The descendants of these Abhiras (now-a- 
days called Ahirs) even today, as they did during the ancient and 
medieval days,^® inhabit this region in a good number. Thus this 
view appears to be more reasonable from the point of view of phi- 
lology as well as history. 


Although Hariyana has been changing its names and political 
boundaries like all other provinces of India from time to time, its 
geographical boundaries are more than permanent. They are the 
Shivaliks in the north ; the" river Yamuna in the east ; the Aravalli 
ranges and a part of the Thar desert in the south ; and the river 
Sutlej in the west. These natural boundaries produced, in more or 
less isolated conditions, a distinct culture, a special mode of living, 
and a different linguistic pattern. And these factors gave a sort of 
individuality to the regibn which can be seen to exist even today in 
as good a form as it existed in the ancient and medieval times. 

How Hariyana’s natural boundaries were respected by the poli- 
tical authorities through the ages is a very long story. Keeping bre- 
vity in view, let us start our tale with the medieval times. To quote 
Dr. Tarachand : “In the sixteenth century Akbar orgmized the pro- 
vinces of his empire on what must have appeared to him the natural 
lines. The Indus plain was devided into Multan and Thattah. The 
Punjab with its capital at Lahore formed a province. Ajmer stood 

for Rajasthan. Delhi, Agra, Oudh, Allahabad, Bengal 

Malwa Ahmedabad, Khandesh and Berar’* were there.®" The 

Province of Delhi (Hariyana) shows the Ain-i-Akbari, extended bet- 
ween the Thar desert and the Sutlej. It comprised the Sarkars of 
Delhi, Rewari, Hissar Firoja and Sirhind.®^ The position of the 
Subha of Delhi (Hariyana) remained unchanged during the reigns of 
Jehangir and Shah Jehan. Aurangzeb made some alterations; but the 

17. For Prof, Aggarwal’s views see Dr. Shankar Lai Yadav, p. 59. 

18. See Abul Fazl, Ain-i-Akbari (tr. Jarret. II Edition) pp. 300-1. 

19. Ibid. 

20. Tarachand, History of the Freedom Movement in India, p. 83. 

:?il. Abul Fazl, Ain-i-Akbarii tr. Jarret, (2nd Edition) Vol. II. pp. 291-301. 

78 ’ 


position of Delhi (Hariyana) remained quite unaffected. The reason 
was that Aurangzeb also kept in the view “linguistic and natural 
divisions’* while demarcating the provinces.^^ The author of Khula* 
saUuhTwarikh, Sujan Rai Bhandari of Batata writing in 1695 also 
confirmed this fact. These administrative divisions based on linguis- 
tic and natural divisions continued unchanged upto the middle of the 
18th century when the whole administrative machinery broke up into 
pieces owing to the rise of the Jats, Rohillas, Sikhs and Marathas 
in this region as well as due to the foreign invasions of Nadir Shah 
and Ahmed Shah Abdali. 

Before we proceed to the next point one thing need be made 
clear first. Although oflScially called ‘Delhi Subha’ this region was 
popularly known as Hariyana through out the medieval period. The 
Skandpuran,^® The Palam-Baoli Inscription of Vikram Samvat 
1337^^ the Ajmer Museum Chauhan Prashasti of the mid— 12th cen- 
tury,®® the Delhi Museum Inscription of 1328,®® Jait Ram Vani 
Granth,®^ etc., bear testimonies to this historical fact. Everywhere, 
excepting the official documents, this popular name was assigned to 
the region is revealed by the following popular saying which was 
current during the 18th and 19th centuries (even today the older 
generation remembers it). 

Shalak Alwar bich Hariyana 
lathe ghi, dudh, dahi ka khana 

(Hariyana is situated between the Shivaliks and Alwar and the 
people of this region live on milk, ghi and curd.) 

In the earlier days of the 19th century the British, out of sheer 
ignorance of the land and the people of this region, picked up the 

22. Tarachand, p. 23. 

23. Maheshwara Khanda, Kumarika, Adhaya 39, Sh. 127 ff. 

Dr. D. C, Sircar thinksi that this section of the Skand Purana is an 
interpolation of the medieval days. See J.R.A.S.B., Vol. XIV, p. 25; Journal 
Bihar Research Society » Vol. XI, pp. 8-11; Studies in the Ancient and Medieval 
Geography of India, p. 202. 

24. Epigraphia Indo-Muslimica, p. 35. 

25. See Dasrath Sharnia, History of the Early Chauhan Dynasties, p. 74. 

26. Epigraphia Indica, Vol. I, pp. 93-95. 

27. P. 395. Jait Ram lived in the eighteenth century. For this reference see 
BhagvanDev, p. 11. 



popular name Hariyana and assigned it to a small district comprising 
some parts of the districts of Rohtak, Hissar and of the states of Jind 
and Patiala after the year 1820,^8 But they soon knew the reality and 
realized the unsoundness of their work in the light of it. In 1837 the 
Government undid the mistake by liquidating the district and trans- 
ferring its villages to the newly-created district of Bhattiana,^® But 
the British writers, for the reasons best known to them alone, chose 
to stuck to this mistake. 

In all their writings they have taken Hariyana as it stood as a 
district between 1820 and 1837 and not the popular Hariyana Pradesh. 
For instance, Walter Hamilton’s The East India Gazetteer (London, 
1828) Vol. I, pp. 669-70, J. Winson’s Final Report on settlement of 
the Sirsa District i\^79— ^3) i pp. 29-30, Hissar District Gazetteer 
(1882), p. 5, Imperial Gazetteer of India, Provincial Series, Panjab, 
1908, Vol. I, p. 222 and alphabetical series Vol. XIII, P. 53 all speak 
of the same old district of Hariyana which was “a tract of country 

lying between 28*30' to 30 N and 75*45' and 76*30' E , chiefly in 

the eastern half of Hissar District but also comprising parts of 
Rohtak District and of the States of Jind and Patiala.’*®® Not to 
speak of these British writers even many modern historians like Dr. 
Ganda Singh even today draw upon the same conclusion on the basis 
of the above mentioned works. A distinction must be made between 
the Hariyana Prant and the Hariyana district of the 19th century. 


Owing to its geographical situation, Hariyana has been occu- 
pying a very important place in the history of India from time imme- 
morial. In the words of Dr. Buddha Prakash : 

‘*It constitutes the gateway to the citadel of the Gangetic 
valley, formed by the Himalayas in the north and the Aravallis in 
the south with the great desert of Rajasthan, prolonged seaward by 
the salty and tidal marsh of the Rann of Kutch, in the west. The 
land between the north-eastern extremity of the desert and the foot of 
the Himalayas below Simla provides a passage from the north-west 
which leads to the entrance of the Gangetic plain at Delhi on the 
Yamuna. Naturally, therefore, this gateway is the key to the security 

28. See Sirsa District Settlement Report, 1 879-— 83, para 26. 

29. Ibid., para 29. 

30. Imperial Gazetteer of India, Vol. XIII, p. 53. 



of the north India plain and on its defence has depended the indepen- 
dence of the country from ages immemorial. It is significant that 
this region is littered with ancient battlefields like Kurukshetra, 
Taraori, Panipat, Kunjpura and Karnal where the fate of India 
continued to be decided for centuries without number. That is why 
it is Karmakshetra and DharmakshetrUt the land adored with liba- 
tions of blood and the region requiring an immense sacrifice on the 
part of the people. Every inch of this territory is a holy place and 
pilgrimage, where people have been coming from all parts of the 
country with a religious motive and a burning faith in the sacredness 
of its soil. This religious sanctity enshrines the military importance 
of this region, and its spiritual association encases the material ad* 
vantage that ensures from its proper protection. A region, on the 
security of which the destiny of the millions of men depends, cannot 
but be the land of highest religious purity and cultural signifi- 


Hariyana is a broad level plain standing nearly on the water- 
parting between the basins of the river Indus and the Ganga. It is 
formed almost entirely of alluvium. In the whole of the region, 
excepting the flood plains of the Yamuna and the Ghaggar, locally 
called the Khadar, the alluvium is of the “old type” containing 
sand, clay, silt and hard calcareous concentrations about the size of 
nuts known as “kankars”. In the Khadar the deposits of the 
alluvium are of the * ‘Recent type”. They consist of coarse sand and 
some silt regularly deposited by the rivers and small mountain stream 
of the Tndo-Ganga water-shed. This process appears to be still going 
on in this region.®® 

In the south-western parts of the Hariyana-plain a great deal 
of wind — blown sand stands piled up in the form of sand dunes. 
These dunes sometimes are many feet high and go beyond miles in 
length. The alluvium is covered by sand and the region is as bad as 
a desert. The only parts useful for cultivation and production in 
this region are the places where due to some reason or the other 
sand does not collect. Such places are locally called “Tals.” 

In the southern most parts of the Hariyana-plain, a number of 

31. Hariyana Research Journal, Vol. I, No. 1, p. 2. 
Settlement Report of the Sirsa District, para 5. 



hills appear here and there. They are the parts of the Delhi system 
of the Aravalli ranges and are called Alwar and Ajaibgarh series. 
The hills of the eastern Ferozepur Jhirka and Rewari Tehsils belong 
to the Ajaibgarh series and comprise the soft slates and subordinate 
bands of siliceous lime stones. The hills along the western border of 
the FerozepurJhirka, Nuh tehsil and Mahendragarh district come 
under the Alwar series and are formed of quartzite, grit, conglome- 
rate and lime stones. 


The Yamuna. Although no big river flows through Hariyana, 
the region is fortunate in having the river Yamuna on its eastern 
boundary with the Uttar Pradesh. Even though the supplies in this 
river are meagre as compared to the other big rivers of India, it does 
provide irrigation for large tracts in districts Karnal, Hissar, and 
Rohtak through the Western Jamuna Canal. It also charges the 
sub-soil water all along the border. 

Besides that, there are many small rivulets which flow with 
usually enough floods in the rainy season but always dry up in the 
hot season and indeed seldom last beyond October. These rivulets 
though notoriously known for their flood havocs during the rainy 
season, add up to the prosperity of Hariyana. They bring a great 
deal of rich clay with them and leave it behind at the places where 
they pass through. The result is that farmers get very luxuriant 
crops of wheat, gram and sugarcane on their fields. Besides that 
sub-soil water is found alongside these rivulets and provides great 
irrigational facilities. And thus keep their courses freeTrom draught 
and famine. 

The Ghaggar. The Ghaggar rises in the outer-Himalayan 
ranges between the Yamuna and the Sutlej. It enters the plains as 
a rapid and variable mountain torrent, passes near Ambala and after 
south-westerly course of about 70 miles chiefly through the Patiala 
district of the Punjab where it is joined by the united streams of the 
Saraswati, Markanda and other numerous hill torrents which cross the 
Ambala district between the Yamuna and Sutlej, it bends to the 
west through Hissar district and the Bikaner Division of Rajasthan 
where it is finally lost,^^ some 290 miles from its source.®* 

33. It is lost near Bhatner. 

34. See Sirsa District Settlement Report^ para 5 and Hissar District Gazetteer, 
1915, pp. 6-9. 



From the appearance of the Ghaggar valley and the numerous 
remains of towns and villages which stud its banks all the way down 
to Bhawalpur, it is evident that at one time it conveyed a much larger 
volume of water than at present and probably was the channel of a 
perennial stream. It has been identified with the Sarswati by some 
and the Dhrashadwati by the others. The latter seems to be more 

The Saraswati. It was a great river in ancient days. The 
Rigveda calls it a river par excellences^ It is regarded as the first 
of the vedic rivers.^®. In ancient period of our history it was much 
bigger a river and joined the Arbian Sea ®'' But today it is a very 
small rivulet. It rises in the outer — Himalayan ranges between the 
Yamuna and the Sutlej. In the most of its course it has no defined 
bed. But in its lower reaches in the district of Karnal, it becomes 
useful to the rice lands. Its floods, however, rarely extend to any 
distance. It carries no silt and its banks are usually high and steep. 
It ultimately joins the Ghaggar in the district of Patiala and dries up 
with it near Bhatner in Bikaner.®® 

The Markanda. A rivulet of the Indo-Ganga water-shed it 
flows across the Ambala and Karnal districts. It is distinguished 
from the rest of thp-nill-streams by its extensive flooding and by the 
heavy deposits of/silt. Sand is more rarely deposited and as a rule 
only in the vicinity of the banks. Its surplus water finds its way 
into the Sanisa .Ihil where it joins the Saraswati.®® 

There are four rivulets of the Mewat hills— the Sahibi, Indori 
Dohan and Kasavati. The Kasavati and Dohan are not so im- 

The Sahibi. The Sahibi rises in the Mewat hills near 
Manoharpur and Jitgarh, about 70 miles north of Jaipur. Gathering 
volume from a hundred petty tributaries, it forms a broad stream 
along the boundary of Alwar and Patan and crossing the north-west 
corner of the former below Nimrana and Shahjehanpur, enters 
Rewari above Kotqasim. From this point it flows due north 

35. Rigveda, II, 4, 16. 

36. Ibid. 

37. Ibid., VI, 61. 2 and 8 ; VII, 95, 2. 

38. Karnal District Gazetteer, 1918, pp. 5-8 ; Sirsa Settlement Report^ para 5. 

39. Karnal District Gazetteer, 1918, pp. 5-8. 






through Rewari and Patandi to the Jhajjar TehsiL Flowing through 
Lohari and throwing off branches into Patauda and Kheri Sultan it 
again passes the Gurgaon district till it finally enters Rohtak at the 
village of Kutani. On reaching this point it divides into two 
branches which again reunite near Sondhi, Yakubpur and Fatehpur. 
From here the reunited stream turns to the north again and going a 
few miles more through the district it passes into the Delhi terri- 
tory where it is made to meet the Yamuna through a channel.*® 

The Indori. It rises near the old ruined city and fort of 
Indore perched on the Mewat hills, west of the town of Nuh of the 
Gurgaon district. After a few miles of run, it divides itself into two 
branches. The main branch goes off north-west and joins the Sahibi 
on the southern border of the Rewari Tehsil ; while the collected 
waters of a number of feeders of the north branch pass three miles 
west of Taoru, spread over the low lands round Bhora and ultimately 
also fall into the Sahibi near Pataudi. This is the end of the 


Hariyana is poor in mineral resources. Excepting cal- 
careous concentrations called “kankar” which is available every- 
where,*^ there is no other mineral in the whole of Hariyana except 
Mohendragarh district. Though Mahendragarh has not been geolo- 
gically investigated thoroughly, yet large number of minerals are 
reported to occur in the area. Some of the important minerals in 
the area are iron ores, calcite, lime-stone, asbestos, barytes, beryl, 
copper ores, cornelian, garnet, mica, etc. Out of these, iron ore, 
calcite, lime stone and kankar are being quarried at present.*® 


Although Hariyana lies almost 300 miles north of the Tropic 
of Cancer, its climate is more or less tropical. Since it is customary 
to divide the whole year into three seasons in India everywhere— -the 

40. Rohtak District Gazetteer, 1910, para 5. 

41. Ibid, 

42 Hissar District Gazetteer, 1915, p. 9 ; Rohtak Settlement Report, 1873-79, 
p,Z\Karnal District Gazetteer, 1883-84, p. 2 ; Gurgaon District Gazetteer, 1910, 
p. 9. 

43, For details see Hariyana Research Journal, Vol. I, No. 1, pp. 59-65. 



cool season, from November to February ; the hot season froih 
March to early June ; and the rainy season from June to October, 
let us study the climatic conditions of Hariyana season-wise. 

To start with the winter season, Hariyana remains under the 
influence of cool outblowing land winds throughout the season. 
But the Himalayan mountain walls protect the region as it does the 
rest of India, from the icy— blasts from central Asia. Hence the 
temperature remains low-— the mean January temperate at Hissar is 
56®F. The general anticyclonic conditions of winter months are 
sometimes interrupted by the feeble cyclones which give a little rain- 
fall to the region. Summer months experience hot weather with dry 
desiccating hot winds (/oo) and occasional dust-storms. The climax 
of the season is reached in May and June when the region is hot like 
a furnace. About the middle of July the monsoon clouds begin to 
appear and the humidity increases rapidly till a thunderstorm 
announces the advent of the rains.^^ 

The rainfall pattern of Hariyana has been affected considerably 
by the region’s continental location and nearness to the subtropical 
upper air high pressure of Thar desert. This results in low rainfall 

and variation at different places. The districtwise rainfall (average 
of five years 1958*62) is as follows^® : — 


Rainfall in inches 















About 80% of the over-all rainfall in Hariyana falls between 
July and September. There is a pronounced rainfall peak in the 
months of July, August and September. There is a very little amount 
of rain in Hariyana during the winter season by the cyclones. It is 

44. Hissar District Gazetteer, interesting account of 

the climatic conditions of the district. 

45. Report of the Hariyana Development Committee, 1966, p, 46. 

3 to 4 inches in the upper parts and less than an inch in the lower 


Hariyana is essentially an agricultural state. About nine-tenths 
of the ent re population depend on agricultural pursuits for their 
existence. A little under three- fourths of the total land area of 
Hariyana is cultivated — about 41 percent sown every year and further 
31 percent lying temporarily fallow. About 35 per cent- of all the 
land sown is irrigated. The total yield of foodgrains is about 
24,39,300 tons a year or 1’9 lbs. per head per day.^°a 

CATTLE wealth 

Hariyana is known throughout the country for its milch 
and draught cattle and claims the honour to be the home of the 
two of the best Indian breeds of cows and buffaloes. This is because 
its soil and climate are eminently suited for the breeding of good 
stock and the people of this area are good breeders. The region 
has vast potentialities for the development of dairying industry 
and given proper guidance and direction it can well become the 
Denmark of India. 

( 2 ) 


The people in Hariyana, excepting a few lower castes, are the 
descendants of the Aryan race. They profess many religions. 
According to the 1961 census 67^ lakh people in this region are 
Hindus, 5 lakh Sikhs, 3 lakh Muslims, 26 thousand Jains, 85 hundred 
Christians and 7 hundred Buddhists.^® Every religion is further 
divided into castes and sub*castes. Among the Hindus the 
important castes are Ahirs, Brahamans, Bishnois, Gujars, Jats, 
Khatis, Malis, Rajputs and Harijans. The Sikhs have Jats, 
Khatris, Aroras, Tarkhans, and Harijans among their ranks. 
Among the Muslims, the Meos (2,16,800) form the bulk of the 
population, and other castes, such as Ranghars, Gujars, Lohats, 
Rangrez, etc , number only a few thousand. 

46a. Ibid,, pp. 23, 192-93, 208-9. 

46. See Punjab Boundary Commission Report^ 1966, pp. 105-36. 

There is no denying the fact that the lives of the people are to 
a great extent controlled by castes. They determine their upbring- 
ing, education, customs, habits, marriage, occupation, dwelling- 
place, type of home, etc. Description of a few important castes may 
be of interest. 

The Ahirs. The Ahirs,^^ popularly known as Abhiras in his- 
tory, constitute a prominent element in the population of Hariya- 
na. They form the bulk of the population of the Gurgaon and 
Mahendragarh districts and the Jhajjar Tehsil of the Rohtak district. 
In the districts of Hissar, Rohtak, Jind, and Karnal the Ahirs 
number only a few thousand.*® 

Tall, wiry, with dark eyes, ample beard and the complexion 
varying from wheat colour to dark brown, the Ahirs are exclu- 
sively agriculturists. They stand in quite the first rank as husband- 
men.*® They are of the same social standing as the Jats, Gujars, 
Rajputs, Rots, Sunars, Khatis (Tarkhans) who would eat both 
cachcha and pacca food with them without any hesitation.®® 

The Banias. The word ‘‘Bania” stems from a Sanskrit word 
‘‘Banijya”, means trade. Internally they are divided into three main 
divisions, tha Aggarwals, the Oswals, and the Maheshwaris. The 
Banias form by for a considerably important commercial caste in 
Hariyana, as eleswhere in India®^. Agroha, an ancient city of Hari- 
yana , is popularly believed to be the birth place of the Aggarwals.®® 

The Brahraanas. Hariyana is the home-land of the Gaur-Brah- 

47. For Ihe origin and migration of the Ahirs see Raychaudhari, 
Early History of Vaishnavite Sect, 91 ; PiUai, Tamil 1800 years ago, 57; 
Buddha Prakash. JBRS, XI, 249-65 ; Bhandarkar, Indian Culture, I, p. 13; 
Indian Antiquary, XL, p. 16 ; Smith, Early History of India (1924), p. 200 ; 
Keith, History of Sanskrit Literature, (1828), pp. 33-34 ; Siiryavansi, The 
Abhiras, pp. 15-22 ; Rajbali Pandey, Yaduvansha ka Itihas, pp. 131-5 ; Census 
Report, 1881, Vol, I, para 493; Kripal Chandra Yadava, Ahirwal Ka Itihas, 
Chapter IT. 

48. Kripal Chandra Yadav, Chapter II. 

49. Ibbctson, Glossary of the Castes and Tribes of the Punjab and 
North-West Frontier Provinces, II, p. 6 ; Rohtak Settlement Report, p. 55 ; 
Gurgaon District Settlement Report, p. 31. 

50. Ibbctson, II, pp. 6-7. 

51. Ibbctson, HI, p. 507 ; Rose, Tl, p. 59 ; Grook, I, p.l74; III, pp, 
225, 407 ; IV, p. b9. 

52. Vishva Jyoti, Hoshiarpur, October 1966. 



manas. Besides traditional religious business, called ‘*p^^ohitai*^ 
the Hariyana Brahmans are very good husbandmen. They are in no 
•way inferior to other agricultural classes, like Ahirs, Jats, etc., in 
cultivation and are superior to the Gujars and Rajputs. The Brah- 
mans still consider themselves of the superior status and though 
eat pucca food with Ahirs, Jats, Rajputs, Malis, Sunars, Banias 
and others would neither eat kachcha food nor smoke with them.®^ 

The Gujars . The Gujars®* are fine stalwart fellows precisely 
of the same physical type as the Jats, Rajputs and Ahirs.®® It is very 
difiScult to diflferentiate among these castes socially ; all the four eat 
kachcha and pucca food with each other.®® 

The Gujars were originally a pastoral than an agricultural tribe. 
They were quite unwilling cultivators if taken to it and much addic- 
ted to theft. But now they have improved a lot and have taken to 
agriculture everywhere in Hariyana. 

The Jats. The Jats®'^ are in every respect raast[important of the 
Hariyana people. They are concentrated in the districts of Rohtak, 
Hissar, and some parts of Jind, Karnal, Gurgaon and Mahendragarh 
districts. They are all Hindus, the Mula Jats (Muslims) having gone 
to Pakistan in 1947, 

‘‘Tall, complexion fair, eyes dark, hair on face plentiful, 
head long, nose narrow and prominent but not very long,”®® the 
Jats are indeed “a bold peasantry, their country’s pride, accustomed 
to guide the ploughshare and wield the sword with equal readiness 

53. Ibbetson, U, 6“7. 

54. For origin and migration of the Gujars see Majumdar, Bhartiya 
Vidya, K. M. Munshi Commemoration Volume, II, pp. 1-18 ; Munsbi, 
Glory That IVas Gurjara Desa, I, pp. 173-81 ; Crook, II, p, 468 Rose, II, p. 
321 ; Ibbetson, II, pp. 306-7 ; Settlement Report of Delhi D ‘ pp. 87-90; 
Rajbali Pandey, p. 238- 

55. Ibbetson, II, pp. 6-7. 

56. Ibid. 

57. For their origin and migration see Elliot, Memoirs of the Races 
of the N, W. Provinces of India, I, pp. 135-7 ; Risley, The people of India, 
pp. 60-1 ; Bombay Gazettteer, IX, Pt. I, p- 459 ; Soviet Features, H, No. 231 
of 1964 ; Qanungo, FUstory of Jats, pp. 10-21 ; Rajbali Pandey, p. 238 ; 
Kripal Chadra Yadav, Chapter II ; Hariyana Research Journal, Vol. 1, No. I, 
pp. 27-35 ; Ibbetson, 11, p. 367 ; Settlement. Report of Rohtak District^ p, 54. 

58. Qanungo, p. 20. 

and success-second to no other race in industry and courage.”®® 
Socially, they occupy the same position which is shared by the Ahirs, 
Mails, Gujars, Rajputs, Rors etc.®® The Jats are very good far^ 

The Meos. The Meos get their nomenclature from their resi- 
dential tract, the Mewat, comprising the hilly country of Gurgaon, 
Alwar and Bharatpur.®® 

The Meos are essentially agriculturists, but barren tracts of land 
do not give enough for their existence. Gifted with the qualities, such 
as daring, courage, adventure and hardihood, the poor Meos took to 
the profession of theft in the past.®® They loved independence much 
more than anybody else. Throughout the medieval period of our 
history they have played the part of a refractory people and never 
recognized the authority of the Delhi kings in Mewat.®^ 

Though converted to Islam during the Muslim rule, the Meos 
profess a happy combination of Hinduism and Islam. They celebrate 
Holi and many other Hindu festivals. Men and women dress them- 
selves in the old Hindu fashion. On the occasions of marriage, birth 
and other ceremonies, Hindu .customs and traditions are followed. 
They avoid gotras in marriage.®® The Meos are agriculturists now. 

The Rajputs. The Rajputs®® are found almost everywhere in 
Hariyana. They are, as a matter of fact, of the same social standing 
as the Jats, Ahirs, etc. Though agriculturists, they are thought to be 

59. Ibid. • 

60. Ibbetson,, II, p. 367. 

61. Settlement Report of the Robtak District, p. 54. 

62. For a detailed discussion see my paper in Hariyana Research Journal, 
Vol. I, No. I, pp. 77-79. 

63. Smith, Life of Lord Lawrence^ I, pp. 88-89. 

64. Ibid, 

65. Abu Rashid, Ashalah-i-Mewat, pp, 2-38; Crook, III, p, 485 ; Rose, III, 
p 79; Ibbetson, III, p. 82. 

66. For origin and migration of the Rajputs see. Dasrath Sharma, 
History of the early Chauhan Dynasties, pp, 3-17; The Census Report 
of India, Panjab, 1881, paras 441-57 ; Crook, IV, p, 217 ; Ibbetson III, p. 272 ; 
ifis;^ar District gazetteer, p. 91. 



loo lazy to follow the pursuit successfully.®’ Extravagant and fond 
of litigation, they are often in weak financial position.®® 

Tall, fair complexion, wiry but strongly built, brave, active and 
smart, the Rajputs make very fine soldiers. A considerable large 
number of them are found in the Indian army. They are indeed the 
pride of Hariyana. 


Despite the diversity of religions and castes there has been a 
remarkable communal homogeneity in Hariyana through the medieval 
and modern periods. Let us begin our story from the medieval 
times. In those olden days th ‘ two faiths, Hinduism and Islam were 
so strongly blended and intermingled that one could hardly be distin- 
guished from the other.®» For example, the Muslim-Rajputs professed 
social, cultural and ritual customs of the Hindus. They avoided one 
gotra in marriage ; retained their Brahaman purohits who gave them 
protection thread (Raksha Bandhao) at Siloni and the barley seed- 
ling to be worn in the turban at the Dushera festival.’® Muslim 
Gujars were also like that. They could be hardly distinguished from 
their Hindu counterparts. Their women wore Hindu garments 
(Ghaggara), avoided gotra in marriage, did Karewa, and employed 
Brahaman purohits in most of their social and religious ceremonies.’^ 
Above all, the Meos presented a striking example of a happy combi- 
nation of Hinduism and Islam. They celebrated Holi and many 
other festivals. Men and their women wore dresses in the old Hindu 
style. On the occasion of marriage, birth, death and other ceremonies 
Hindu customs and usages were followed.’^ 

Both the communities worshipped the common village deities. 
Women in general played an important part in this respect. A 
Muslim woman who had not offered to the small-pox goddess (Sitala 
mata) would feel that she had deliberately risked her child’s life. On 
special occasions she fed Brahaman-priests. Similarly a Hindu wo- 

67. Hissar District Gazetteer i p. 91. 

68. Ibid, 

69. The Spokesman, October 1966. 

70. Hissar District Gazetteer, p. 91. 

71. Ibbetson, II, p. 307. 

72. Abu Shakur, pp. 2-38, 



man would regularly make offerings at the shrines of Niuslini saints 
on every Thursday and at the time of the marriage in the family 

Even where the population was almost wholly Muslim, the 
Hindus lived there as good neighbours. Though every Muslim village 
had its mosque, acknowledged Sharah, and solemnised marriages 
according to the rites of the holy Quran, the Brahamans were fre- 
quently employed as agents for arranging betrothals and other such 
purposes. The same was the condition in the Hindu villages where 
Hindus lived peacefully with the Muslim minority. The Muslim 
faqirs and pirs were equally respected by them. Both communities 
were closely drawn towards each other and generally lived in love 
except when the feelings of the minority community were injured 
by publicly killing a cow or obstructing the Moharram procession. 
How these small incidents went to. spoil the communal harmony can 
be seen from the following incident that took place at Rewari (dis- 
trict Gurgaon) in the Spring of 1838. The British commissioner of 
the division granted permission to the Muslims to slaughter cow at 
Rewari. ‘‘The rage and indignation of Hindus knew no bounds’*. 
They vainly approached the authorities to undo it. Finding the 
British officials quite inexorable, they returned home, and waited 
in ominous peace until the festival of the Moharram came round six 
Weeks later. The Hindus ‘^suddenly rose and attacked the Muslim 
procession with all manners of weapons, bricks, stones and even dead 
pigs and dogs”. The confusion and tumult which ensued were tre- 
mendous and desperate affray and loss of life would have been the 
result, had not the strong police force checked But such 

incidents had no everlasting effect on the communal harmony and the 
heat and acromony subsided in a natural way after some time.^® 

disintegration by the BRITISH 

The British dreaded such a communal homogeneity. In accor- 
dance with the old Roman dictum “divide et impera”, they strove to 
disintegrate them to render it “impossibe for them (Hindus, Mus- 
lims and Sikhs) to enter into a general combination”. For th;s pur- 
pose they picked up the points of difference and rivalry among them 
and fanned them to a dangerous extent.'^® 

73. Census Report of India, 1911, Vol. XIV, Panjab, pt. I, p. 174. 

74. Smith, II, pp. 91-94. 

75. The Spokesman^ October 1966. 

76. Ibid. 



fiuring the Uprising of 1^57, the British tried their level best to 
inflame the feelings of antipathy among the Hindus^ Muslims and 
Sikhs. But the news of the outbreak of the revolt flared up the 
nationalistic feelings of the people. Communal harmony prevailed 
everywhere. And if a thin wall of antipathy was created by the 
British somewhere sometime by their false propaganda, it was soon 
demolished by the presentation of true facts by the Indians.” A study 
of the events would bear a testimony to it. 

The efforts of Emperor Bahadur Shah in this direction and 
their positive effects on the region of Hariyana are too well known 
to be described here The chiefs of this region left no stone un- 
turened to foster a congenial communal atmosphere in their 
respective states. Raja Nahar Singh of Ballabbgarh gives details 
of his efforts to Emperor Bahadur Shah thus : “Although I, in my 
heart” profess the Hindu religion, still I follow the dictates of the 
Muhammedan leaders and am obedient to the followers of that 
creed”. How superior was he to the communal prejudices can 
be seen from the following assertion : “I have gone so far as to 
erect a lofty marble mosque within the fort (of Bullabhgarh). I 
have also made a spacious Idgah... close to my park.”®® Besides 
that, the Jat raja had appointed many Muslim ofl^cials to the res- 
ponsible posts in his administration. The Muslim chiefs of Jhajjar, 
Dadri and Pataudi had also behaved in the same vein with their 
Hindu subjects and had given them many a high post in their 

These chiefs, with an exception of the Nawab of Farrukhnagar 
who had a long quarrel with Rao Tula Ram of Rewari,®® had 
reached mutual understanding in 1857. The Muslim chief of Dadri 
helped Tula Ram in suppressing his co-religionist Ahmed Ali, the 
Nawab of Farrukhnagar, who, instead of waging war against the 
British, was fighting his neighbours in furtherance of his personal 
interest. A letter of Muhammad Bakht Khan, the Lord Governor 
General at Delhi, chows that the Rajput ruler of Nimrana, and the 
Muslim rulers of J ajjar and Pataudi at one time agreed to follow 
Tula Ram, the H du chief of Rewari through thick and thin.®^ - 

77. Ibid. 

78. Foreign 1 itical Consultations, Nos. 51-55, March A 1859. 

79. The Spoke >man, October 1966. 

80. Foreign Political Consultutions, Nos. 51-55, March 4, 1859. 

81. Mutiny Papers, bundle No. 43, document No. 2 (N.A.I.) without 


hariyana; studies in history and politics 

This understanding was ty no means confined to the princes 
only. The people also inculcated mutual understanding among them- 
selves. In the district of Gurgaon the masses, with an exception of 
a few anti-social elements which normally try to take advantage of 
such situation everywhere, worked with a nationalist spirit. The 
“loyalists” were attacked by the “rebels” irrespective of caste, 
creed or religion. For instance, the Meos attacked and killed the 
“loyal khanzadas’% their own brethren at Nuh.^^ Next the Rawat 
jats of Hodal village and the Rajputs of Hathin “who were sup- 
posed to be on the side of the (British) Government” were attacked 
by a large gathering of the Surat Jats of Hodal, Pathans of Seoli 
and the Meos.s'* On another occasion the Meos joined with Ahirs 
under the leadership of Rao Tula Ram and attacked the Rajputs of 
the Bhora Pargana who were disturbing the Rao in the ‘intizam’ of 
his territory at the instigation of the selfish ruler of Farrukhnagar. 
In Panipat district is found a good instance of the Muslim Ranghar 
coming to the rescue of their Jat brethren of the village of Bulleh 
when they were attacked by a British force under Captain Hughes 
on July 14.®® In Hissar Hindus and Muslims assembled and fought 
under Prince Muhammad Azim. The rising at Sirsa has been often 
interpreted by many people as to have taken communal turn. In the 
words of Majumdar “At Sirsa the rising took a communal turn. 
The Hindus fled and the Muslims plundered not only the treasury 
but also the town and the neighbouring villages.”®® Perhaps Dr, 
Majumdar has based his account on the statement of Dr. Chaudhari, 
who draws upon almost the same conclusion on the false authority 
of Chick.®’ 

In the second week of November all the leaders of Hariyana— 
Prince Muhammad Azim of Bhattu, General Samad Khan ofjha- 
jjar, Rao Tula Ram and his cousin Kishan Singh of Rewari and 
Ahmed Ali (Risaldar) commandant of the Jodhpur Legion— assem- 
bled at Narnaul under a common banner, irrespective of their caste, 
creed or religion, and gave a tough fight to the British on the battle- 
field of Narnaul on November 16, 1857®®. 

82. Gurgaon District Gazetteer, pp. 5-6. 

83. Ibid. 

84. Foreign Consultation, 581-86. Aug. 6, 1858. 

85. Cave-BrowQ, The Punjab and Delhi in 1857, II p. 37. 

86. Majumdar, The Sepoy Multiny and the Revolt oi 1857, pp. 144-5. 

87. Chick, Aiiuaals of the Indian Rebellion, p. IH. 

88. See my paper. The Battle of Narnaul, vide Journal of Indian History 
Vol. XLIII, 1965. 


hartyana-^the land and the people 

The British saw a great danger in the communal homogeneity 
among the Indians. In conseqence they strained their every nerve to 
disturb it. This ultimately resulted in great commanal differences 
among the various communities. There were communal riots and 
quarrels. The Muslim league was formed and the demand for Pakis- 
tan came up But Hariyana remained unaffected and saving a few 
minor quarrels here and there, there was never a serious trouble 
over any question among the different communities. 

Finding that their communal policy of ‘divide and rule’ did 
not work well in Hariyana, the British Government tried to divide 
the people economically. They created two classes. One agricultural, 
mainly living in villages and the other commercial or urban classes. 
The rural population was won over by giving them a few small posts 
in the administration, such as those of Tahesildar, sub-inspector 
etc.®® In consequences differences arose. But they disappeared 
after the advent of independence. 

Immediately after Agust 15,1947, a wave of bloody qurrels 
which, unfortunately, spread throughout Northern India, spread in 
different parts of Hariyana too. But very soon such great national 
leaders as Mahatma Gandhi and Pandit Nehru came in and appealed 
to the good sense of the people. Consequently normalcy prevailed 
in the region after a short while. A good number of Muslims, espe- 
cially the Meos, gave up the idea of going to Pakistan.®® 

Now there are no communal differences and all sections of 
the society are living amicably. 

89. See Shri Ram Sharma, Hariyana Ka Itihas 87-88, 

90, Shri Ram Sharma, pp. 143-46. 


;; By 


All Indian population censuses conducted in the country since 

• the 1870’s have treated the Jats as an important population group, 
The 1931 census, the most comprehensive census on record, gave 
the number o^ Indian Jats as over 8 mihions. More than 6 millions 
of these lived in the Punjab that was not partitioned at the time ; 

* approximately one million lived in Rajasthan and about 800,000 in 
the United Provinces (now the state of Uttar Pradesh). According 
to the census, large groups of Jats also resided in Kashmir, the 

I' North-West Frontier Province, Baluchistan and Sind. Unfortunately, 

the recent population censuses conducted in the Republic of 
India and in Pakistan have not supplied adequate statistics on the 

The Jats use dififerent languages. In 1931, under one half of 
all Jats covered by the census used Punjabi, at least one and a half 
million different Lahnda dialects, while the majority of the rest, 
both in the Punjab and elsewhere, spoke Hindustani (Urdu and 
Hindi). The Jats profess different religions- According to the same 
1931 census, half of the six million Punjab Jats were Moslems, over 

i 2 million Sikhs and about 1 million Hindus. 


J One may well ask ; why did the Indian censuses include in one 

group people who lived in different parts of the country, spoke 

" different languages and professed different religions ? 

The population census reports, other official documents, 
ethnographic surveys (Ibbetson, Crook, Rose, present-day authors) 
traditionally treat the Jats as a separate caste or a group of castes. 
Other researchers, especially economists, are inclined to regard the 
Jats as a separate social group of cultivators. However, on closer 
examination it becomes obvious that both definitions, far from giving 
a comprehensive idea of what the Jats really are, obscure our under- 
standing of important historical events which involved the Jats. 

True, some Jats are members of caste groups of different 
social status which bear a variety of names. However, caste 
distinctions (a restricted choice of occupation, endogamy, naarriage^ 




dietary and other regulations, common religion, caste self-govern- 
ment, etc.) are not characteristic of the Jats as h community. 
Moreover, many of them do not recognize caste distinctions at all. 
Nor do the Tats make up an integral social group. Although most 
Jats both in India and Pakistan are farmers, it should be remembered 
that many Jat groups in the West Punjab which is Pakistan’s territory 
depend on stock raising as their principal occupation, while a number 
of Jats who dwell in towns and cities have been for many generations 
artisans and merchants. In the past, Jat families gave rise to many 
feudal dynasties. In the colonial period, several generations of Jat 
groups served in the British Indian army and in the police. 

Some researchers did use the term ”tribe” to define the Jatsj 
and separate Jat tribes were not infrequently identified as such in the 
West Punjab. However, no one has assumed the task of analysing 
the ethnic meaning of the term ‘'Jats” and tracing their history in a 
systematic manner. 

This explains our special emphasis on features of ethnic affinity 
between various groups of Jats, vague as these features may seem. 
We would also like to call attention to historical references to the 
Jats as a separate group of tribes in connection with major events in 
Northern India’s history and to their special role in the formation 
and national consolidation of the people of the northern parts of 
the Republic of India and Pakistan. 

The origin of the Jats is still obscure. As far back as the 
1820’s and 1830’s, James Tod suggested that the Jats, together with 
some other tribes, were brought to Indiajin^the wake of the Scythian 
invasions from Central Asia at the beginning of the Christian era. 
He asserted that the Jats may have originated from Scythia’s Getae 
mentioned by Herodotus ! Alexander Cunningham attempted to 
find references to the Jats in the works of Greek and Roman 
authors. He identified the ancestors of the Jats with the Zantii oc 
Xantii mentioned by Strabo and the latii referred to by Pliny and; 
Ptolemy, i.e , gave aa their place of origin the same central Asian 
territory between the Oxus and the Yaxarthes. Thus, the two 
researches quoted above agree that the Jats came to India from out-' 
side acd also agree on their probable place of origin and the time of 
their probable migration to India. It will, however, be recalled that 
some legends speak of the Jats as having lived in Sind long before 
the Scythians invaded the country and even of direct association of 
Jat chiefs with the heroes of the Mahabharata. All these hypotheses 
and legends still await thorough scientific investigation. 


The earliest reliable historical data about the Jats is found in 
the first references to the tribe in records which date back to the 
period of the Arabic invasion of Sind at the beginning of the 8th 
century A.D. The Arabic book ‘‘Chach*nama”, written shortly 
after the Arabs had conquered Sind, says that the Jats were probably 
the largest tribe conquered by Chach before the Arab invasion. 
Already at that time the Jats made up an important group of semi- 
nomadic tribes, mostly cattle-breeders, who were dispersed over a 
large territory. How’ever, there were also settled Jats, notably Jat 
communities in the towns on the Indus, 

Rajas of the Chach dynasty had armed Jat detachments in their 
service. There is historical evidence to the effect that in the 
Brahmin Rajput state in Sind the settled Jats had a socially inferior 
status, The Jats were so numerous that the Arabs (who called them 
‘^Zat”) believed for a time that they made up the basic population 
of the country. Jat detachments were the first to take the side of 
the invaders and number of Jats embraced Islam, 

Arab geographers and travellers of the 9th and 10th centuries 
'(Belazuri, Masudi, Ibn Khurdadbagh) describing the population of 
North-West India invariably mentioned the Jats in the first place as 
the largest indigenous group. 

Among other tribes the Arab geographers more often mentioned 
a group of tribes called “Med*', who were related to the Jats, but 
were their cor stant rivals. As regards the Meds, A. Cunningham 
says with still greater certainty that they came from the Oxus and 
together with the Jats moved to the Indus towards the beginning of 
the Christian era. Presumably the Meds originally settled in the 
South Punjab and Upper Sind while the Jats occupied Lower Sind 
and Baluchistan. There are practically no further traces of the Meds 
in ethnic history, but later historical documents as a rule refer to the 
Jats as dwelling in the Punjab. The annalists of Mahmud Gaznavi, 
for instance, recorded Mahmud’s expedition in 1026 against the 
Multan Jats who had previously attacked his army on its way back 
from the Somanalb expedition. Mahmud’s army and the Jats had 
a battle on a river, with thousands of specially equipped and armed 
boats taking part on both sides. By that time many Jat groups had 
embraced Islam and often joined the invading armies. The fortunes 
of war often drove them far away from their birthplace. Other Jats 
who were Hindus resisted the invaders either as warriors of dcta9h- 



meats commanded by Jat chiefs or as soldiers of the Rajput feudal 
army. Thus, Timur himself during his Indian campaign of 1398 had 
to make special raids against the Jats who were attacking his army 
and supply echelons, spread over a large distance north of Panipat, 
i.e., in the East Punjab. 

For his description of the formation of the Rajput princely 
State of Bikaner in the mid-15th century, James Tod drew on legends 
and historical chronicles available at the time, he asserted that Jat 
tribes made up the bulk of the population of the new state. 
According to Tod, Bikaner had some 2200 Jat villages or, as he 
called them, patriarchal communities. These villages in Bikaner 
were incorporated in six territorial units which Tod called cantons. 
Jat chiefs not so much ruled as guided their fellow tribesmen. The 
Jats were primarily engaged in stock raising and practiced commercial 
exchanges with their land-cultivating neighbours. Various Suh 
Preachers were spreading Islam among the Bikaner Jats. 

In recognition of the fact that the Jats had been original 
masters of the country and in memory of their voluntary submission 
to Rajput rule, the Bikaner rulers instituted a ceremony in which 
each new ruler of the Rajput dynasty had a special symbol put on 
his forehead by one of the Jat chiefs who thus invested the new 
ruler with the rights of a sovereign. 

The founder of the Mogul Empire, Babur who had made several 
reconnaissance expeditions to the Punjab prior to his conquest of 
India, wrote in his memories : “Each time we went to Hindustan 
the Jats and Gujars came from the mountains and valleys in 
enumerable force to drive away bulls and buffalo- “ Babur also 
mentioned clashes with the Jats in 1525 near Sialkot, in the North 

Not only Timur and Babur but also Moslem invaders who had 
preceded them drove the Jats off their territory and forced some 
of their groups to move further south and east. Separated from 
their Punjab tribesmen, these Jat groups often found themselves 
amidst peoples with entirely ’different and very ancient cultural 

It was only natural that small Jat groups dispersed in a new 
ethnic environment could not resist its influence for a long time. 
In the end they were either fully assimilated by the local population 

99 ,r 

. , » , . . KOlt OF TBE MTS^ 

or adopted its language, way of life and religion to make up a 
separate caste. The name Jat was sometimes retained by them as a 
caste designation.- In the caste hierarchy these groups were as a 
rule below the middle, although not at the very bottom. Such was 
the position of Jats in many areas of the middle Ganges and inside 
Rajasthan. It was these Jats that the British authorities in India 
first came in contact with. In their further contacts with Jats in 
other parts of the country officers of the British administration did 
not hesitate to call all of them a caste. 

The situation was quite different when the Jats moved to new 
areas enmass led by their chiefs or tribal elders, end settled on 
large territories making up Jat communities. It is obvious that these 
Jats too, were influenced by the neighbouring peoples. With time 
they adopted the language and the way of life of their neighbours, 
their religions and even social system including the caste set-up. 
However these processes developed in a different manner among the 
Jats and assumed more invoved forms. Thus, property and social 
differentiation resulted in the formation of Jat castes of different 
social status, from the superior castes to the untouchables each caste 
having its own name which as a rule was similar to that of its 
counterparts among the neighbouring peoples. However, all Jats of 
such a group, regardless of their caste, for a long time remained 
aware of their common origin, retained their traditions and the name 
Jat as their common national designation. Such was the position 
of Jals in the northern parts of Rajasthan in the areas adjacent to the 
Upper Ganges and the Jamna and in some other localities. 

The Jats who dwelt in the areas directly west and south west 
and Delhi hads the same status. In the second half of the 17th 
century and early in the 18th century these Jats, led by their chiefs, 
repeatedly rose against the Moguls. Some of the uprisings lasted 
for years. The movement drew in tens of thousands of Jats. These 
were no longer semi-nomadic cattle breeders, but farmers. Despite 
the social differentiation that had gone very far and the caste distinc’’ 
tions they remained conscious of their ethnic affinity and unity. It 
was precisely due to this that the Jats were able to overcome their 
differences at a crucial period and pnt up staunch opposition to 
their common enemy in the struggle for self determination. The 
Jats’ unity turned their struggle into a popular liberation move- 
ment. This appears to be the only possible explanation of the fact 
that following a number of uprisings the Jats sudsaooed in forming 



and maintaining for some time in the mid-18th century an indeped-* 
dent Jat State situated close to Delhi, the capital of the Mogul 

The above episode of Jat history is another argument in favohr 
of the conception that, contrary to the assertions of some historians, 
in this case, too, they did not act as a caste. There is every reason 
to believe that they constituted a local group of an ehnic entity, 
although the group admittedly had undergone major changes. 

It is especially regrettable that the students who investigated 
the Sikh movement in the Central and East Punjab in the 17th-18th 
centuries, disregarded the ethnic composition of the participants 
and the role of ethnos in historical events. Most investigators agree 
that it was a mass-scale, popular, anti-feudal movement but fail to 
answer the question, what nation or nations were involved. It is 
also an established fact that the formation of the Sikh sect was 
completed in the course and as a result of this movement. The 
movement also stimulated the formation of the modern Punjabi 
language and was responsible for the development of the Gurmukhi 
alphabet and the appearance of the first books in Punjabi. Especially 
important is the fact that the period under discussion witnessed the 
formation of the nationality now called the Punjabis. It is also 
generally recognized that the Jats were the largest group in the move- 
ment, in its armed forces and in the Sikh community itself. How- 
ever, we have been unable to find in the works on Sikhism and 
Punjab’s history any comprehensive ethnic analysis of the Punjabi 
Jats, and of their role in the formation and evolution of the Pun- 

What then, is the reliable historical data on the Jats of the 
period available to us at the present time ? 

In the 17th century they accounted for a significant percentage 
of the Punjab’s rural population and made up some sections of its 
urban population. As regards the level of social development, the 
Jats presented a highly heterogeneous picture. In the Western 
part of the country most of them fully retained the tribal set-up, 
while some remained semi-nomads. However, this Jat group was 
not active in the Sikh movement. 

The settled Jat farmers of the Central Punjab practically retained 
no traces of the tribal system, but some Jat groups in the area 




stiil displayed marked carry-overs of tribal organizations. Thus' at 
the turn of the 18th century when the Sikh movement embraced the 
population of the central areas, many Jat groups led by their chiefs 
joined the Sikh sect ; in the army such groups formed separate deta- 
chments. The democratic traditions preserved by the Jats affected 
the structure of the Sikh community— the Khalsa. The Eastern Jats 
were more differentiated socially but nevertheless they remained aware 
of their common origin with other Jats. 

Most Jats used kindred dialects "of the language now called 
Lahnda (‘^western*’). This name does not occur in the documents 
of the 1 7th and 18th centuries, and it is doubtful that the dialects 
had a common name. However, it appears that even in that early 
period some dialects, especially in the East Punjab, were influen- 
ced by Hindustani (its literary form being Hindi and Urdu), which 
must have given rise to the formation of the Punjabi language. 
In their later evolution the Punjabi and the Lahnda dialects drifted 
so far apart that some researchers included them in different groups 
of the modern Indian languages. In the period of Mogul rule part 
of the urban population adopted Hindustani. Some Jats followed 

prior to the expansion of Sikhism many Jats had considered 
themselves Moslems, while in the eastern regions many of them had 
declared themselves Hindus. In reality most of them adhered to 
their former beliefs which were but slightly affected by Islam or 
Hinduism. The Jats who had adopted very few Islamic dogmas and 
still remained basically indifferent to Hinduism with its caste system 
readily adopted the new Sikh religion which was easy to understand, 
ruled out religious sacrifices, refused to recognize Brahmanical 
hierarrchy and, most important, disclaimed caste distinctions. 

Common origin and ethnic affinity, common language, commu- 
nal traditions preserved to a greater or lesser degree, absence of 
bitter religious opposition or pronounced caste distinctions were all 
responsible for the fact that the Jats became the motive force of the 
Sikh movement which thus became a broad popular movement. 

The further fate of Punjab’s Jats is very closely connected 
with the history of the Punjabis, They did not develop into a 
separate nationality. Together with other Punjab tribes such as 
the Gakhars, Khokhars, Janjuas, Gujars, some of the Rajputs 



(Rajasthani', the non-Punjab Pakhtuns, Tajiks and other eiements, 
the Jats formed the Punjabi nation, making up its ethnic basis. The 
Jates became members of all class, social and caste groups in 
feudal— and later in capitalist—Punjab. 

The position of the Jats in the south-western parts of the 
Punjab was quite different. As is known, the people of this part of 
the country use mainly the Lahnda dialects. The place of the Lahnda 
dialects in the ethnic classification of the Indian Languages has been 
extensively discussed, with special works devoted to the subject, 
unfortunately, no attempt has been made to investigate the ethnic 
character of the people who use these dialects, i.e., the indigenous 
population of the South-West Punjab. 

We have already pointed out that the West Punjab Jat tribes, 
from the time they were first mentioned in historical records and up 
to the late-Middle Ages, remained primarily pasturalists and largely 
semi-nomads. The development of agriculture in' the Central Punjab 
under the Moguls and the Mogul system of administration affected 
the people of the Western areas very insignificantly, with the excep- 
tion of the population of large towns. Settlement on the land 
assumed large-scale proportions here only in the period of British 
rule and has not yet been completed. As late as the beginning of 
this century, many Jat groups in the area were divided into tribes 
with clan subdivision and retained the communal way of life and 
self government. In the West Punjab they had not yet formed an 
integrated nationality but retained their ethnic affinity, their language 
and the name Jat as the common designation. 

By way of conclusion, it should be emphasized that despite 
different interpretations of the term *‘Jat*’, which in some periods 
and places did have different meanings historically, the Jats have 
always been a separate ethnic group. They have always played a 
major role in the ethnic history of northern India as a large, dynamic 
and very active population group. It was the Jats who formed the 
ethnic nucleus of the people now called the Punjabis. The role of the 
Jats has not, however, been confined to this. In different periods 
and conditions they made up an essential ethnic component of the 
Sindhis, Rajasthani and other peoples of the Republic of India and 

The above discussion demonstrates that material that has long 
been known, when treated in the context of a nation’s ethnic history 



(in our instance, the history ofthejats) proves that it is impossi- 
ble to dispense with an analysis of the ethnic milieu (which is the 
subject of the process of historical development) and its evolution 
if we are to arrive at a correct interpretation not only of cultural 
and political history, but also of the position and the state of 
different peoples in our times. [Courtesy : Soviet Feature] 


HARYANA, 1928 1947 




The advent of the Simon Commission (1928) and the death 
of Lala Lajpat Rai (November 1928) made a deep impact on the 
Haryana politics and struggle for freedom became more stimulat- 
ing. It stirred the people, particularly the youth, all over the 
country and efforts were made by various organisations to become 
more active in Haryana. Especially the Naiijawan Bharat Sabha, 
formed by Satya Pai^ in 1926'*^ (headquarters at Amritsar)®, 
became active here. Before we proceed to take a view of the 
activities of the Bab ha, a brief account of its aims and objectives 
seems pertinent.* Precisely, the Sabha stood for : 

(i) To organise the labourers and peasants all over India 
and then establish a complete independent republic 
of the labourers and peasants. 

(ii) To infuse a spirit of patriotism into the hearts of the 
youth of the country in order to establish a united 
Indian nation. 

1. Satya Pal, 1884-1954, Passed M.B.B.S. examination from the Medical 
College, Lahore, 1908 ; joined the anti-Rowlatt Act agitation 1919 ; 
organised a band of Hindu-Muslim Nationalist Workers at Amritsar ; 
his greatest contribution to the nationaliim was during Gandhian epoch ; 
Progressive nationalist ; powerful speaker and organiser ; raised his 
voice against British repression and oppression during Martial Law at 
Amritsar ; published an Urdu Newspaper ‘Congress" from Lahore ; suffered 
repeated imprisonments ; sympathised and rendered free medical aid 
to the political sufferers and the victims of Martial Law ; great protagonist 
of Hindu-Muslim Unity. 

2. See Home Department, Political, File 438/1930 (Delhi: National Archives 
of India). 

3. Fortnightly Report of Punjab : April 15, 1928; Horae Department, Political, 
April 1928, File 18. 

4. Horae Department, Political, File 130/1930 and K.W. 


(iii) To express sympathy with and to assist the economic, 
industrial and social movements free from communal 

The Sabha had its branches almost in every district. In 
Haryana it functioned in Ambala, Karnal, Rohtak and Hissar 
districts®. Leaders of the movement were Gopal Das, Rajinder 
Singh and Sardar Singh in Ambala® ; Dev Raj in Karnal ; 
Lachhman Das, Manage Ram Vats, Chandu Lai, Murari Lai, 
Ram Saran Das, Atma Nand and Daulat Ram Gupta in Rohtak;’ 
and Durga Das Gupta, Bhagwan Das Gautam, Lekh Ram, 
Thakur Shish Pal Singh, Radha Kishan Verma, K.A. Desai, 
Banwari Lai, Hari Singh, Mohan Chand, Chhole Lai and Bhagwat 
Swarup in Hissar®. A perusal of the list of leaders shows that alm- 
ost all of them without exception belonged to the Congress. But 
there was a little difierence between the ordinary Congress leaders 
and the leaders of the "‘Naujawan Bharat Sabha'\ The latter 
had left leanings and believed to some extent in socialist 

The main following of the Sabha came from labourers, 
peasants and students. Therefore, the main centres of activities 
were the labour colonies and schools andL colleges in the towns 
and villages. How popular was the Sabha in Haryana is a 
difficult question to answer ? By a rough estimate,® however, its 
popularity can be said to be very limited. Most of the people 
in the towns and villages did not know anything about it because 
there was no well-organised propaganda machinery of the Sabha> 
The Sabha leaders spread its message very secretly to a few only 

5. Ibid , Fortnightly Report of Punjab : April 15, 1931 ; Home Department, 

political, April 1931, File 18 ; The Tribune (Lahore), April 9 and 
July 19, 1930. 

6. The Tribune, March 12, 1931 ; Home Department, Political, File 130/1930 
and K.W. 

7. The Tribune, April 1930 ; Daulat Ram Gupta, Afy Reminiscences, Rohtak 
Unpublished, 1974, p. 61. 

8. Ibid., July 19, 1930; Interview with Thakur Shish Pal Singh on 
May 17, 1970. 

9. Based on information supplied by the following living leaders of the 
Naujawan Bharat Sabha : Daulat Ram Gupta, Thakur Shish Pal Singh, 
Sittal Parsad. Radha Krishan Verma, Mange Ram Vats and comrade 
Lachhman Das. 


as the Government was very saspicious of its activities from 
the very beginning. The Sabha, in any case, had about 270 
members on its rolls^®. Th2 district-wise break-up of the member^ 
ship was as shown in Table I : 


membership of the NAUJAWAN BHARAT SABHA 


A mb ala 

Karnal Gurgaon 






25 — 




Gurgaon was the only district where there was no branch of the 

The Naujawan Bharat Sabha did not do much work in 
Haryana. The reasons for this are not far to seek. The literacy 
percentage was very low in the region and the socialist ideology 
was not comprehensible to the illiterate people properly. Its 
activities were restricted owing to the lack of funds and press, 
It had only one press, at Amritsar called ^Naujawan''^'^ which 
used to publish pamphlets. Moreover, the people feared police 
repression and, therefore, they did not come forward to join the 
ranks of the Naujawan Bharat Sabha. 

Yet the Government viewed the growth of the Sabha 
organisation in Haryana as a dangerous porleiit and it decided to 
finish it once for all. In consequence, it issued a notification 
(No, 1980 S.H./General of June, 23, 1930) declaring the Naujawan 
Bharat Sabha as an unlawful organisation. Next^®, on the night 
of June 23, 1930 the offices of the Sabha were searched all over 
Haryana and a list of members and other materials were 
recovered^®. Soon after this, Lachhman Das, President of the 
Naujawan Bharat Sabha, Rohtak,^'* Durga Das Gupta, Banwari 

10. Ibid. 

11. Home Department, Political, 1 30/1930 and K.W. 

12. Home Department, Political, File 498/1930 and K.W, 

13. Ibid. 

14. The Tribune, April 9, 1930, 

Lai, Had Singh, Mohan Chand, Mool Chand, Chhote Lai and 
Bhagwant Swarup, -members of the Sirsa Naiijawan Bharat Sabha^^ 
along with many others were arrested under Section 17 (2) of 
the Criminal Law Amendment ActA« The Naiijawan Bharat 
Sabha pdsoners were considered as ‘very dangerous persons’ and 
they were given harsh treatment in jails. To say briefly, their 
life was made hell. They were denied basic amenities. Even 
food was awfully bad and the prescribed ration^’ was not given. 
The vegetables were cut into pieces with a hatchet in the way 
fodder was prepared for cattle. Dal was not cleaned and ‘kankars* 
were there in it. They were served two chapatis^^ with vegetable 
and Da/ in the morning and evening. There was no breakfast 
and no evening tea. Besides, they were treated as ‘C’ Class 
prisoners. These prisoners were asked to do manual labour, 
such as grinding of oil seeds, wheat, twisting of ropes and stone- 
breaking.^® These and other harsh treatments made most of the 
members of the Sabha scare and the activities of the Sabha came 
to a grinding halt. 

Some of its prominent leaders, who were not yet arrested, 
reorganised the Naujawan Bharat Sabha under different names. A 
Naujawan Hindu Sabha was formed at Hissar and Arnbala,^® a 
Youth League at Rohtak®^ and a Bal Bharat Sabha at Mandi 
Dabwali.^* All these organisations were purely on the Naujawan 
Bharat Sabha pattern, Their aims were more or less those of 
the Naujawan Bharat Sabha^^ But like their parent body these 
organisations also made little impact on the people of Haryana 
for the reasons already referred to. 

15. Ibid 

16. Home Department, Political, File 498/1930. 

17. The food scale for an ordinary prisoner was as follows : 

Wheat Flour.*. lOChhatanks Fuel 6 Chhantanks 

Dal If Chha tanks Vegetable... 4 Chhatanks 

Oil ... f Chhatanks Parched Gram— 2 Chhatanks 

Salt ... f Chhatanks 

For details, see The Tribune, December 24, 1930, 

18. See The Tribune, December 24, 1930. 

19. Ibid, 

20. Ibid., March 12, 1931. 

21. Ibid,, September 4, 1930. 

22. Ibul, 

23. Home Department Political, File 498/1930- 



Now about the Congress activities. The Simon Commission 
and Lalaji’s death had given a shot in the arm to the activities 
of the Congress in Haryana. To begin with, the Congressmen 
called a Punjab Provincial Political Conference at Rohtak®'^ on 
March 8—9, 1929 under the presidentship of Satya Pal. He 
was a progressive nationalist, a good speaker and organiser. 
Mod Lai Nehru and Jawahar Lai Nehru also attended the confer 
ence. The gathering was big and the conference was in every 
way a grand success. Many resolutions of importance were passed, 
touching such national subjects as the Nehru Report and other 
local problems such as remission of land revenue owing to the 
failure of crops, the boycott of foreign clothes and picketing of 
liquor shops. 

After this conference, a peasants’ and workers’ conference 
was held on March 9-10, 1929 at the same place under the presi- 
dentship of Arjan Lai Sethi.®’ Jawahar Lai Nehru, Sardul Singh 
Caveeshar,®® Sohan Singh ‘Joshe,®“ Duni Chand (Ambala), 

24. For details, sec The Tribune, March 10, 1929 ; Shri Ram Sharma, Haryana 
m'n Congress Ki Tahreek (here after abbreviated and referred to as 
Tahreek) Rohtak : Unpublished, 1935, pp,42'‘43 ; Haryana Tilak, 
Rohtak March 17, 1929 ; Fortnightly Report of Punjab : March 15, 
1929 ; Home Department Political, March 1929, File 18. 

25. Ibid. 

26. The Tribune, March 13, 1929. 

27. Jbld,, Sharma, Shri Ram, Tahreek, pp. 43-44. 

28. Sardul Singh Caveeshar, 1886 ? Joined the Indian National Congress ; 
active participant in the Civil Disobedience Movement, 1930 ; arrested 
and imprisoned for 5 years : In jail he was subjected to brutal fortune ; 
put behind bars nine times for his zealous participation in the national 
movement ; distinguished writer and learned author ; president of the 
Punjab Provincial Congress, 1920 ; Member of Congress Working 
Committee, 1928 ; joined Subhash Chander Bose’s Forward Block and 
resigned from Congress. 

29. Sohan Singh Josh, 1898-1975. Noted revolutionary ; started career as 
a school teacher ; inspired by books on Marxism and Leninism ; joined 
freedom struggle ; came Into close contact with the Chader Party ; 
advocated equality ; began his political life by participating in the Akali 
Movement, 1921 ; member of S.G.P.C. ; joined Naujawan Sabha of 
Bhagat Singh and elected its president, 1928 ; started ^Kirti* paper ; 
founder of Workers’ and Peasants’ Party ; sentenced to 7 years imprison- 
ment in connection with Meerut Conspiracy case ; General Secretary 
of Punjab Provincial Congress Committee, participated in Quit India 
Mpvement, 1942 ; died in 1975, 

Shrimati Parvati Devi, Neki Ram Sharma and Baldev Singh 
attended the Conference.»'^ The speeches delivered and resolutions 
adopted at this conference were revolutionary in character. 
The system of forced labour (begar) and village patrol were 
condemned,®^ and the people were advised not to make payment 
of taxes. They were asked to establish peasants’ and workers’ 
societies in all villages and towns of Punjab and Haryana.®® 

After the political conference of Rohtak the work of reorga- 
nising Congress Committees and enrolment of their members was 
taken in hand. Shri Ram Sharma, a prominent Congressman of 
Rohtak, started organisational work. He visited fieri, Kalanaur 
Meham, Gohana, Rohtak and Sonepat.®® As a result, 22 new 
Congress Committees were formed, eight in towns and 14 in 
villages.®'* It shows that considerable progress was made in villages 
too. Bakshi Ram Kishan, Nanu Ram, Thakur Datt Sharma, Sham 
Lai, Neki Ram Sharma and K. A. Desai worked in Hissar' town 
and villages, enlisting members and organising Congress 
Committees.®® About 20 Congress Committees^-seven in towns 
and 13 in villages were formed in Hissar.®® In Karnal and Ambala 
districts. Congress Committees were formed in all the tehsil 
centres.®’ In Gurgaon, however, the Congress activities were at a 
low ebb. 

The programme work accelerated Congress activities which got 
further fillip by the passage of complete independence resolution of 
1929 (at Lahore Session). The District Committees, in pursuance of 
the resolution of the Congress, issued a circular to all their units 
with regard to the celebration of Independence Day on January, 
26, 1930 by taking the following pledge®® : 

30. The Tribune , March 12, 1929. 

31. Jbici, 

32. Ibid., March 13. 1929. 

33. Ibid,, May 18, 1929. 

34. Ibid., June 29, 1929, 

35. Ibid., July 16, 1929. 

36. Interview with Bakshi Ram Kishan, May 15, 1971; Kirpa Ram Sahdwa 
August 11, 1975, 

37. The Tribune, October 2, 1929. 

38. See Majumdar, R. C., History of the Freedom Movement in India, Calcutta 
1963, Vol. HI, p. 331. 

Mitra, N, N. The Indian Annual Register, Calcutta, 1930, Vol. I, p, 334, 



“We pledge ourselves afresh lo this great cause of India’s 
freedom and to end the exploitation of our people and 
resolve to work to this end till success comes to our people. 
The British Government in India has not only deprived the 
Indian people of their freedom but has based itself on the 
exploitation of the masses and has ruined India economically, 
politically, culturally and spiritually. We believe, therefore, 
that India must severe its connection with the British and 
attain complete independence (Poori Azadi).'* 

In almost all the cities, towns and big villages ‘Independence 
Day’ was celeberated.^® In Kalka, Jagadhri, Ghanauli, Karnal, 
Kaithai, Thanesar, Rohtak, Jhajjar, Beri, Khatiwas, Sonepat, 
Rewari, Bhiwani, Hissar and Sirsa big processions were led by 
prominent Congressmen, speeches delivered and pledge taken. 

On April 6, 1930, the Congress launched a-Civil Disobedience 
Movement,^^ Public meetings were held all over Haryana to mark 
the beginning of the movement. Satyagraha Sabhas were organised^^ 
in every district and volunteers were enrolled to go to jails after 
violating the salt laws.^*® Thereafter the salt laws were actually 
violated by preparing salt. At Rewari, salt was prepared and 
auctioned for Rs. 1,032.'^^ A packet of salt was purchased by a 12- 
year old girl, Kasturbai, for Rs. 60, her ^otal savings collected at 
the rate of two pice a day.^^ The District Consress CommiUee 

39. Sharma, Shri Ram, Haryana Ka Itihas (herafter abbreviated and referred 
to as Haryana) Rohtak, 1969. 

40. See Nehru Memorial Museum and Library (hereafter abbreviated and 
referred to as NMMt&L), File G/36/I930; The Tribune, January 29, 
1970., Sharma, Shri Ram, Haryana, p. 93., Daulat Ram Gupta, p. 57; 
Fortnightly Report of Punjab : January 31, 1930 ; Home Department, 
Political, January 1931, File 18. 

41. On March 12, Gaadhiji with 79/?n</c/i/ree^ left the Sabarmati Ashram at 
6,30 A.M. on foot and reached the sea at Dandi on April 5. Early on 
April 6, Gandhiji and his party dipped into the sea water, returned to the 
beach violated and picked up a pinch of untaxed salt left by the waves 
and broke the law. It was a novel method of violating the salt laws. See 
Tendulkar, D. O., Mahatma-Life of Mohan Dass Karom C/rawd Gandhi^ 
Delhi, 1952, Vol. Ill, pp. 24-25; The Tribune, March 14, 1930. 

42. For details, see, The Tribune, March 15, 16, 18, 1930. 

43. It was pointed out that a Salt Commission sat in 1836 and recommended 
that Indian salt should be taxed in order to enable English salt to” sell in 

44. For details see, The Tribune^ April 23, 1930. 

45» Jbld. 


manufactured salt on April 13, at HissarA® The salt was prepared 
in iron pans at Bhiwani‘^’ on April 21 by the volunteers led by 
K.A, Desai. The salt laws were violated on April 26 at Ambala 
under the leadership of Abdul Galfar Khan and Bhagat Ram 
SehgalA® Several women manufactured salt at Ambala.^® At Rohtak, 
the salt laws were breached on April 10®® and at Panipat, the 
next day.®^ 

The boycott of foreign clothes was also a part of the Civil 
Disobedience Movement. Foreign cloth Boycott Day was fixed on 
March 17 all over Haryana.®* But before the boycott work was 
actually taken in hand the propaganda work was started. Leaders, 
like Madan Mohan Malviya, Gopi Chand Bliargava,®® Neki Ram 
Sharma, Abdul GalTar Khan and Suraj Bhan toured the districts 
of Haryana and exhorted the people to boycott foreign goods'. 
Then came the compaigning. First, they started picketing shops 
that were selling foreign cloth.®^ There was successful picketing at 
Sirsa, Abdullapur and Abdul Majid.®® As a result, the traders of 
all these places agreed not to buy foreign cloth in future. The 
traders of Rohtak, Bhiwani and Ambala undertook not to import 
foreign cloth.®® At Ambala women volunteers started picketing 
temples and person wearing Khaddar only were permitted to go 
inside.®^ This experiment achieved great success and the people 

46. Horae Department, Political, January, 1930, File 250. 

47. The TributWy April 26, 1930, Interview with K. A. Desai, June 16, 1970. 

48. The Tribune, April 29, 1930. 

49. Ibid,, May I, 1930. 

50. Sharma, Shri Ram, Haryana, op. cit., p. 94., Tebreek, op. cit., p. 50,, 
Interview with Sharma, Shri ^am June 16, 1970. 

51. Fortnighty Report of Punjab: October 31, 1930 : Home Department, 
Political, October 1930, File 18, 

52. Home Department, Political, File 179/1929. 

53. Gopi Chand Bhargava, 1889-1966. Started medical practice in 1913; 
Came into prominence during Jallianwala Bagh Tragedy, 1919; deeply 
influenced by Gandhiji; took part In every Congress movement since 
1920; Secretary of Lahore District Congress Committee, 1921; arrested 
or interned several times; criticised the Act of 1935; advocated joint 
electorate; opposed to caste and untoucliability and stood for widbw 
remarriaer, powerful speaker, became Chief Minister of Punjab after 
partition died in 1966. 

54. The Tribune, August 8, 1930. 

55. 76/^., June 18, 1930. 

56. Ibid., April 13, 1930; Daulat Ram Gupta, op. cit,, p. 59. 

Sharma, Shri Ram, Haryana, op. cit, p. 99, 

57. The Tribune, July 19, August 20, and September 7, 1930, 


started wearing Khaddar in large numbers. Nearly 5,000 persons 
of Ambala district took pledge to wear Khaddar, 

Picketing of liquor shops was also carried out by the Cong- 
ress volunteers in large numbers. The real object of the picketing 
was two-fold : (i) to reduce consumption of liquor and (ii) to curtail 
the excise revenue,'’^ At some places those persons who bought 
liquor were subjected to indignities of various kinds, such as 
parade in public on a donkey with blackened faces and garlands 
of shoes.®® The Congress volunteers picketed liquor shops at Roh- 
tak on May L®^ As a result, the consumption of liquor in the town 
decreased many fold. In Ambala, a liquor shop at Babyal village 
(near Ambala Cantt) was picketed.®^ A liquor vender was socially 
boycotted and his house was surrounded by a crowd on August 
8.®® Even the sweeper did not go to render conservancy services in 
his house. 

Educational instituiions were also boycotted. The progress of 
the movement was marked by a rapid decline in attendance at 
schools. The students resorted to strikes and committed some acts 
of indiscipline. But the movement did not succeed. It fizzled out 
after about a month or so.®"^ The parents and guardians opposed it 
and send their sons and daughters to schools and colleges. The 
boycott of law courts also proved ineffective. Although arbitration 
courts or panchayats were set-up in great numbers, they had 
a brief existence.®® The picketing of polling booths for the election 
to the Assembly and Council was attempted at Rohlak. But later 
it was abandoned as the Jats of Rohtak opposed it.®® In Ambala 
district some Banias abstained from voting®’ and the attempt to 
picket at two polling stations resulted in ihe arrest of the 
picketers. Thus the boycott or picketing in these three fields was 
ineffective in Haryana. 

58. Ibid, 

59. Home Department, Political, File 179/1929, 

60. Ibid, 

61. The Tribune, May 3, 1930. 

62. Ibid,, June 21, 1930. 

63. Ibid., August 12, 1930. 

64. Home Department, Political, File 179/1929. 

65. Ibid, ^ 

66. Fortnightly Report of Punjab : September 30, 1930; Home Department, 

Political, September 1930., File 18. 

67. Ibid, 



A campaign against the payment of tax was also launched. 
It began in Hissar district®® in villages of the Skinner Estate near 
Hansi. This Estate of 15 villages which was granted to Col. James 
Skinner, an Anglo-Indian, who was in the service of the British 
East India Company in recognition of his meritorious services. 
Skinner made Hansi his headquarters and administered the Jagir 
from there. He was called 'Sikander Sahib' in Haryana. Skinner 
died in 1841 and the whole Estate went into the hands of his two 
sons, Col. Stanley and R. H. Skinner. Unlike their father, the 
new masters .charged very high rent,®® which was utterly 
disproportionate to the yield of the land. The peasants, after 
a prolonged suffering, formed a Kisan SabhaP^ to fight the 
oppression in January 1929, with Neki Rani Sharma as its 
president and Lajpat Rai of Alkhpura as its Secretary. The 
Sabha advised its members to refuse to do 'hegar' without 
any payment or sell their produce without getting the market 

The Kisan Sabha was quite effective. Its members toured 
villages and enlightened the people about their difficulties and 
grievances. Big Panchayats of peasants of the Skinner-Estate 
villages (Barsi, Alkhpura and Garhi) resolved not to pay rents and 
started anon-violent Satyagraha movement (1930^.’^ But as 
was expected of the peasants and with martial blood flowing in 
their veins, soon the movement became a violent agitation. On 
April 11-12, the peasants of Daulatpur^^ (near Hansi) forcibly 
‘ removed the crops belonging to the landlords. The authorities let 
loose a reign of terror. In retaliation the tenants and some 
members of the Kisan Sabha attacked a Sub-Inspector of Police 
and his party at the Dhana Khurd Police Station on April, 2U®. 
Largescale arrests were mads. But this did not effect any improve- 
ment in the situation. The villagers still stood in defiance of the 
Landlords. At last a compromise was reached between the peasants 

68. See for details, Sugla, H.D., Pt* Pt. Neki Pam Sharma : Abhinandan 
Cruntht Calcutta, 

69. Ibid., Fortnightly Report of Punjab : April 15, 1930 : 

File 18, Tahreek, op cit., p. 48 

70. The Kisan Sabha was formed in January 1929, with Neki Ram Sharma 
its president and Lajpat Rai Alkhpura, its Secretary. The Sabha 
advised people to refuse to give begar. 

71. Sugla, H.D, pp. 52-57, The Tribune, April 12, 1929. 

72. Home Department, Political, January 1930, File 250 

73. Ibid. 


and the two Skinners. The latter agreed to realise land revenue at 
Rs. 5 per puccabigha of irrigated land and Rs. 1.25 on unirrigated 
land.’^ This was a great victory of the Kisans. 

In Haryana, the Government adopted a repressive policy 
to curb the agitation of the Congress. The party was declared 
illegal,’® the people were deprived of the right of speech and 
association and meetings and processions were prohibited.’® 
Yet, the the people did not lose heart. Meetings and processions 
were held in defiance of the law. News bulletins and lealflets 
were printed and distributed among the people inspite of the 
official ban, A district political Conference was held at Jhajjar on 
April 12-13 under the presidentship of Suraj Bhan.” Thousands 
of peasants from the neighbouring villages attended it. 
Mangli Ram Yadav, Chairman of the Reception Committee 
made a stirring speech. He was followed by Devi Chand and 
Ram Phul Singh who exhorted the people to continue the fight 
without earing for the trouble.’® All these activities gave a 
fillip to the morale of the people, Thousands of them came 
forward to court arrest,’® 

The Government also adopted a policy of ‘divide and rule’ 
to weaken the Congress. The landlords, government contracters 
and title holders were given certain facilities and concessions by 
the Government, The Government helped them to organise 
^Aman Sabhas\^^ Members of the Aman Sabhas, accompanied 
by officials, visited villages under the pretext of giving famine 
relief or distributing Taccavi, but preached against the Congress 
movement. Efforts were also made to fan the Hindu-MusHm 
rivalries. But all these efforts met with little success and the 
movement went on till the end of 1930 when the Gandhi-Irwin 
talks were held. The Congress activities almost came to a halt for 
a short while. 

74. Sugla., H.D., op. cit. 

75. The Tribune, September II. 1930; MItra, N.N. 1930, op, cit. 

Vol. I, p. 20; Haryana, op. cit. 

76. Ibid. 

77. The Tribune^ April 75, Home Department, Political! 930, File 170; 
Tahreek, op. cit. 

78. Ibid, 

79. The Tribune, September 14, 1930; Haryana^ op. cit., p 95; Interview with 
Mangli Ram Yadav, June 18, 1970, 

80. The Tribune, July 31, 1930. 

81. Ibid. 



In the meanli me, elections of the Punjab Legislative Council 
were held in September 1930. The main contestant parties were 
the Congress, the Unionist Parly and the Hindu Mahasabha. There 
was a good deal of campaigning on the part of all the parties. 
The Congress, which had organised itself very well in the past 
few years, wielded great influence over the urban voters with 
whom it was already popular. It also tried to woo some rural 
voters and success was achieved in Karnal and Hissar because of 
local rivalries among the rural populace. In Rohtak and Ambala 
districts and parts of Curgaon mid Hissar districts, the Unionists 
were very popular. This party had a very strong hold especially 
in Rohtak where the Congress could not dare to influence the 
voters in several villages. The Hindu Mahasabha had its influence 
over a few urban traders and the Ahirs of Gurgaon, because of 
Rao Balbir Singh, a traditional leader of Ahirs. 

The Table 11 shows that the Congress and the Unionist Party 
were on equal fooling (four each); the former had its hold on the 
T A B L E - H 






Allaha Dau Khan 


Ambala, North East 
(Muslim), Rural. 


Mam Raj Singh 


Ambala (Non-Muslim), 


Nathu Singh 


Karnal (Non-Muslim), 



Balbir Singh 


Gurgaon (Non-Muslim), 




Yasin Khan 


(Muslim), Rural. 


Chhotu Ram 


Rohtak, South East (Non 
Muslim), Rural. 


Ram Sarup 


Hissar, North West (Non- 
Muslim), Rural. 


Joti Parsed 


Hissar, South East (Non- 
Muslim), Urban. 


Sajjan Kumar 


Hissar (Non-Muslim), 


82. R)r details see Return showing the Results of Election 

London .• Hjs Majesty’s stationery Office, 1931, Presen- 
ted by the Secretary opiate for India to Parliament by command of His 
Majesty, July 1931, Command No. 3922, Vol.XXIV, po 22-24* T/je 
T^fbime September 12, 1930; Reed Sir Stomley and Shepparffi S. T ihdial 
Ymr Book, Bombay 1931, 1931, pp. 144-45 ^ i. immn 


urbanites and the Unionist Party on the peasantry ruralites. The 
Hindu Mahasabha was not popular anywhere except in Gurgaon 
and there also Ahirs did not have any faith in the programmes 
of the party; were interested in their ‘Raja’ Rao Balbir Singh. 

In Punjab, the Unionists swept the polls. Consequently, the 
Lieutenant Governor called their leader Sir Fazl-i-Hussain, to 
form a minitsry. Fazl-i-Hussain took Sir Chhotu Ram in his 
coucil of ministers. This was a big victory and a moral booster 
to the party in Haryana. The Unionisis started a vigorous 
programme of making their party a force. One main factor that 
added teeth to their efforts was that the Government started a 
crushing campaign against the Congress after the break of the 
Gandhi-Irwin Pact. 

Although the above factors had adverse affect on the health 
of the Congress, its staunch followers did not give way to despair. 
Rather they accepted the challenge, both of the local Unionist 
Government and the British authority at the Centre and revived 
the civil disobedience movement. The Government ban on meet- 
ings was defied. Twelve public meetings®® were held in Karnal 
district. Prominent Congressmen made inciting speeches in these 
meetings and urged the Government to concede their demands 
otherwise the masses would follow the revolutionary path and 
achieve ‘azaadP (freedom) by resorting to \jang'^^ (war). Meetings 
were held at Ambala, Kalka, Jagadhari, Hissar, Bhiwani and 
Bndhlada and the speakers asked the people to continue the anti- 
Government agitation without caring for the consequences.®® In 
Rohtak district, 10 public meetings®® were held in which the police 
were openly abused and jeered at. The leaders delivered rebellious 
speeches in every meeting, advocating not to pay land revenue 
and calling for launching a campaign to drive Englishmen out of 
India.®’ A Hindustani Congress Volunteer Seva Dal Camp®® was 

83. These meetings were held at Pundari, Gasina, Balah, Salwan, Sinkh and 
Karnal. For details, see Home Department, Political, File 33/II/1931J 
76/^., File 33/TX/I93I. 

84. Ibid. 

85. Home Depaitment, Political, File 33/IX/1931. 

8d. These meetings were held at Rohtak. Bahadurgirh, Tasla and Mohana. 
For details, see Home Denartment, Political Flic 33/IX/1931; Ibid.^ File, 

87. JbuL 

88. Home Department, Political, File 22/55/1935; Tahreek, op. cit., pp. 55-56; 
District Gazetteer Rohtak, Chandigarh, 1970, pp. 32-33. 

organised at Rohtak on November 20, 1931m which volunteers 
were given training in lathi drill. It was definitely a revolutionary 
activity. After some time, a parallel Government was established 
by the Rohtak Congress Committee— from Deputy Commissioner 
to thanedar.8® Sham Lai was appointed as Congress Deputy 
Commissioner and Shri Ram Sharma as Superintendent of Police of 
the district.®® More than 200 Congress Committees with 2, 500 
members, were established in the district.®^ 

Boycott of foreign cloth and picketing of liquor shop was 
resorted to at Rohtak, Jhajjar, Bhiwani, Hissar, Sirsa, Rewari, 
Karnal, Kaithal, Ambla, Shahabad and Thanesar.®^ At several 
places the people refused to pay land revenue and taxes. Three 
incidents occurred in villages of Karnal district when TehsiJdars, 
Naib Tehsildars and Qanungos were assaulted while engaged in 
the collection of land revenue.®^ Similar incidents occurred at 
Kaithal also.®* 

The Government tried to curb the movement by resorting to 
repressive measures. Lathi charge, merciless and reckless beating 
with iron rods or bamboo sticks were the order of the day.®® 




No. of persons jailed. 













89. The Tribune^ June 3, 1931; Home Department, Political. File 23/IX/1931. 

90. Ibid. Interiew with Shri Ram Sharma, June 16, 1970. 

9J. Tahreek, op. p, 54; District Gazetteer Rohtaky pp, 32-33, 

92. Interview with Shri Ram Sharma, Mangli Ram Yadav, K. A. Desai 
Mange Ram Vats, Ram Kumar Bidhat and Daulat Ram Gupta. 

93. Home Department, Political, File 18/1X/1931. 

94. /6/c/., File 18/11/1931. 

95. Haryana, op. cf/., p. IQI; Tahreek, op. cit., pp. 57-58, 



The raids on. and searches of the houses of the Congressmen were 
carried out by the police. Yet, the people courted arrests in large 

While the civil disobedience movement was in full swing 
inspite of the unabated fury of Government repression, Gandhiji 
suddenly side-tracked the whole campaign by raising the question 
of Harijan upliftment.®’ Meanwhile, he fell sick and was released 
from the jail by the Government on May 8. At this Gandhiji 
decided to suspend the civil disobedience movement for six 
weeks.®® “His decision was endorsed by the All India Congress 
Committee which met at Patna on July 12, 1933. Later, on 
i Gandhiji’s suggestion the mass movement was withdrawn and an 

individual satyagraha movement was launched in its place.®® 

The suspension of the civil disobedience movement had a great 
demoralising effect on the Congressmen in Haryana and they could 
not continue the individual Satyagraha any more. Meanwhile, 
elections to the Legislative Assembly (Central) were held in 
October/November 1934.^®® Only one nominee was to be sent to the 
Assembly from Ambala Division. The main contestant parties for 
this seat were the Congress and the Punjab Nationalist Party. Two 
persons, Sham Lai (Rohtak) supported by the Congress and 
Thakur Das Bhargava sponsored by the Punjab Nationalist Party*®^ 
fought for the seat. There was a good deal of campaingning by both 
the parties. Eminent Congress leaders, like Rajgopalachari, Vallabh 
Bhai Patel, Bhulabhai Desai and Satya Pal visited various parts 
of Haryana and spoke in favour of the Congress Candidate.^®^ 
The Nationalist Party’s Chief, Madan Mohan Malaviya, along 
with Neki Ram Sharma and Ram Parsad explained their party’s 
views and appealed to the voters to favour their candidate.^®® 

96. Yadav, K. C., Haryana Men Swatantrata Andolan Ka Itihas, Juliunder 
1975, pp 148-57; Shri Ram Sharma, Haryana Ke Swatantrata Senani, 
Rohtak, 1973, pp, 58-89. 

97. Majumdar, R. C., op. ciu, Vol. Ill, pp. 477-78. 

99- Ibid, 

99, p. 480. 

100. Fortnightly Report of Punjab; 1st and 2nd half of October and November 
1934; Home Department, Political, October 1934, File 18 ; TheTribunet 
October 3, 21 and November 17, 1934. 

101. The Tribune^ Octo er2I, 1934, 

102. Fortnightly Report of Punjab : 1st and 2nd half of October 1934; Home 

u Department Political, Octuber 1934. File 18. 

^ 103, The Tribune^ November 4, 1934, 

^ 120 

In the end, however, Sham Lai (Congress) came out successful by 
a narrow margin. The election had a very bad elfect on the 
Congress and the Nationalist Party. Their in-fight came into the 
open and weakened their ranks. The Congress though won, could 
not give a better account of itself. That is why we see that for 
about three years after the 1934 election, there was no political 
activity worth inentioning in Haryana. 

In 1937, however, again there wis election fever. The 
Congress, the Nationalist Party, the Unionist Party and the 
Hindu Mahasabha entered the fray. To strengthen the Congress 
position an Election Board was formed with its headquarters at 
Rohtak.^°® Shri Ram Shanna was made in charge of the Board 
and Hardev Sahai appointed its publicity secretary^®®. Similarly, 
other parties put their houses in order and came out to work 
in all seriousness. The Unionist Party made Sir Chhotu Ram 
in charge of its election a campaign. Rao Balbir Singh led the 
campaigning for Hindu Mahasabha candidates. 

The Congress fielded 22 candidates.^^’ It started its 
campaign in a big way. Eminent leaders visited the region. 
Mrs. Sarojini Naidu addressed election meetings at Anaj Mandi, 
Ambala (January 4, 1937),^°® Shahabad, Karnal, Pauipat, Kaithal, 
Rohtak, Hissar and Jagadhri (January 14, 1937).^”^ Swanii 

Satya Dev, noted Arya Samaji leader addressed meetings at 
Ambala and Jagadhri at the same time.^^® Jawahar Lai Nehru 
addressed nearly 20 meetings in Ambala, Karnal and Rohtak 

Fazl-i-Hussain, Chief of the Unionist Paity and Chhotu 
Ram^^* toured all over Haryana convassing support for the 

104, Ibid., November 4, 1934. 

105. Ibid., November 17, 1934. 

IC^. Ibid. 

107. Earlier there were nine seats for the Punjab Legislative Council from the 
Haryana region. But by the Act of 1935 the number of seats for the 
region was raised to 22 in the house of 175 members. 

108. The Tribune, January 6, 1937. 

109. Ibid., January 6 and 10, 1937. 

110. Ibid., January 14, 1937. 

111. Fortnightly Report of Punjab : 1st half of August, 1936; Homo Department, 
Political, File 4/14/1936 and 18/18/1936 NN4M&L, File P47/i936 

112. Dr. Salya Pal’s letter to Subhash Chander Bose, December 8, 1938 ; 
Chhotu Ram was “notorious for his anti-Congress attitude and abusing 
the Congress day in and day out”. See NMM&L File P-10/1937‘39, • 


Unionist candidates.^^^ In villages, especially in Rolitak district, 
the two leaders were received with great honour and enthusiasm. 
The Jats, who held Chhotu Ram in great esteem, came 
in thousands to listen to their beloved leader and his senior 

Similarly Hindu Mahasabha leaders, like Raja Narender 
Nath and Rao Balbir Singh, toured the constituencies of party 
candidates. They appealed to the voters to cast their votes in 
the name of Hinduism and for its protection and progress. 
Ram Parsad, Secretary of the Hindu Election Board, toured 
Rohtak and Hissar urban constituencies canvassing support for 
the Board’s candidates. He addressed two meetings at Bhiwani 
and Hissar also. Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya toured the 
area asking the electorate to vote for candidates of the Nationalist 
Party, Zafar Ali Khan, President of the Mojlis-IttihadA- 
Millat, visited Rohtak and Karnal, canvassing for the Muslim 

Polling began on January 18, 1937 amidst great enthusiasm. 
The results were as follows: 



Candidates Party Constituency 

1. Abdul Hamid Unionist 

2. Jugal Kishore Congress 

3. Duni Chand Congress 

4. Anant Ram Unionist 

5. Faqira Independent 

6'. Nawabzada Moham- Independent 

mad Faiyaz Ali Khan 

Ambala-Simla (Muslim) 
Ambala-Simla (Reserved) 

Ambala-Simla (General) 

Karnal South (General) 
Kama! North (Reserved) 
Karnal (Muslim) Rural 

113. The Unionist Party also published its menifesto. see The Tribune^ 
January 21, 1937, 

114. Ibid. 

115. Ibid., January 2 and 5, 1937. 

116. Fortnightly Report of Punjab: 2nd Half of January 1937: Home Department, 
Political, January 1937, File 18. 

117. For details, see NMM&L, File, E-23/1937; The Tr/Z>M«e, February 4 to 12, 
1937; The Indian Year Book, 1938-39, pp. 144-47. 



7. Rampat 


Karnal North (General) 

8. Balbir Singh 



Gurgaon North-West 


9. Sumer Singh 


Gurgaon South-East 


10. Yasin Khan 


Gurgaon North-West 

(Muslim) rural. 

11. Prem Singh 


Gurgaon South East 

(General) reserved-Rural. 

12. Abdul Rahim 


Gurgaon, South East 

(Muslim) Rural. 

13. Chhotu Ram 


Jhajjar (General). 

14. Tikka Ram 


Rohlak North (General) 

15. Ram Swarup 


Rohtak (General) Central 

16. Muhammad Shafi 

Ali Khan 


Rohtak (Muslim) Rural. 

17. Atma Ram 


Hissar, North (General) 

18. Het Ram 


Hissar, South (General) 

19. Sahib Dad Khan 


Hissar (Muslim) Rural, 

20. Suraj Mai 


Hansi (General) Rural. 

21. Shri Ram Sharma 


Southern Towns (General) 

22. Deshbandhu Gupta 


Southern East Towns 

The above account shows that the Unionist party emerged as 
the most powerful single party in Haryana in 1937. It bagged 
12 out of 22 seats. The Congress lost some seats in the lower 
Haryana, especially in Hissar districts where it had made a dent 
in the last elections. In Ambala (rural) it maintained the same 
status. The Hindu Mahasabha got only one seat — the Ahir seat 
of Rao Balbir Singh. 


The party-wise position in the Punjab Legislative Council 
was as follows : — 











Khalsa Nationalist Party 


Hindu Mahasabha 






Ittihad Millat 


Muslim League 


Congress Nationalist 



~l75 ' 

The above results show that the Unionist Party was the 
largest party with a clear majority (99 seats out of 175). The 
Lieutenant Governor, therefore, called Sikandar Hayat khan, 
its leader, to form a ministry. Sikandar chose his six-man 
Cabinet (three Muslims, two Hindus and one Sikh).^^° The 
share of Haryana in Sikandar’s Cabinet was two : Chhotu Ram 
and Tikka Ram were included in the Ministry. Chhotu Ram 
was made Development Minister and Tikka Ram, his parliament- 
ary Secretary. 

The thumping success of the Unionist Party had a demora- 
lising effect on the Congressmen in Haryana. However, in these 
bad days they made self-introspection. As a result, they came 
to know that they could not win any election and emerge as a 
great party unless they set their house in order. Accordingly, 
they ended their petty differences and faction fights, and started 

118. SeeNMM&L, File E-23/1937. 

119. Haryana^ op cit., p. 122. 

120 . 



positive activities. A Punjab Foliiical Conference was bold on 
March 26-27 at Madina in Rohtak.^^^ Thousands of Kisans 
attended the conference. Besides, Bhulabhai Dcsai, Lahri Singh, 
Gopi Chand Bhargava, login der Singh and Raizada Hans Raj made 
stirring speeches there exhorting the people to join the Congress. 
Next, a Congress membership drive was started. Rohtak dirtrict 
was divided in four halqasvand batches of four whole-time workers 
were assigned to each halqu tD carry on an intensive propaganda 
and enlist Congress members. Baldev Singh, Shri Ram Sharraa, 
Bharat Singh, Lahri Singh, Anand Swamp, Dilawar and Abdul 
Ghani visited various village? and propagated Congress ideologies 
and enlisted several members. 

These Congress activities unnerved the Unionist Leader, 
Chhotu Ram, and he, alongwith Sikandar Hayat Khan, the Premier, 
visited Panipat, Pxwari, Rohtak, Hissar and addressed several 
meetings of peasants.^*® They aked them to come to the Unionist 
fold. At Rohtak black flags were shown to them and a hartal 
was observed.^^® This led to a clash and Congress volunteers 
were beaten up.^^’ As a protest against this incident a Haryana 
Political Conference was held at Rohtak under the presidentship 
of Charan Singh, a Congress leader. It condemned the assault on 
Congress workers by the Unionist Party. 

Towards the end of 1938, thero occurred a famine in Hissar 
district^^o and some other pirts of Haryana and there was 
scarcity of fodder also. Funds were raised by the Congress to help 
the famine-stricken people. Subhash Chander Bose, President 
of the AiMndia Congress (1938), visited Flaryana in November 
and went to the Congress relief depot at Hissar^^^ Fie visited 

l2\,The Tribune, March 27, 1938 ; Gupta, Daulat Ram, op. cit. p. 72; Mree/c, 
op. cit., p, 65. 

122. The Tribune, March 29, 1938. 

123. Ibid., April 12 1938. 

124. Ibid., Interview with Shri Ram Sharma and Lahri Singh. 

125. Haryana, op, cit., pp. 123-24; The Tribune, October 8, 1928. 

126. Ibid., October 11, 1938. 

127. Haryana, op. cit., pp. 123-24. 

128 The Tribune, October 9, 1938. 

129. Ibid., October, 1938. 

130. Ibid. 

131. The Tribune, November, 29-30, 1938, 


Bhiwani and Rohtak and appealed to the Government to 
help the people and save the cattle wealth of Haryana from 
destruction.^^- By these actions the Congress gained ground 
and became popular in the famine-hit areas. But then came 
World War II (1939) and the political activities in the region were 
shifted towards the War, 


World War 11 started in September 1939.^^® Lord Linlithgow, 
Viceroy of India, dragged this country into the war without 
consulting the Indian leaders or the provincial ministers. The 
stand of the Viceroy on war had a mixed reaction. The 
Congressmen, as per advice of their party’s central authority, 
refused to co-operate in the British war efforts. Big Zamindars, 
princes and other such elements, as also the Unionist, led by Sir 
Chhotu Ram and Hindu Mahasabhaites, led by Rao Balbir singh 
came to help the British in every possible way. The Muslim 
League stood neutral as dictated by its central command. 

The Congressmen made preparations to oppose the British 
authorities in their war efforts. They carried out a vigorous 
propaganda through different media against the Government’s 
highhandedness in “dragging India into the war without consulting 
us’L They exhorted the people not to provide recruits and not 
to contribute to the war fund. Not only this, the Congress also 
decided to launch a Satyagraha to pressurise the Government 
during the war to accept the genuine demands of Indians. As 
a first step towards this goal, Satayagraha committees^®'* were 
formed all over Haryana. These committees enrolled members 
and enlisted Satyagrahis for the coming struggle. Besides, 
its members urged the people not to contribute to war funds."*®® 
Conferences were organised, especially in rural areas, from where 
the Government recruited personnel for the army. Its leaders 
addressed conferences at Jakhod Khera and Chodarwas in llissar 
tehsil, Bawani Khera, Hansi and Pur in Hansi tehsil, Miltathal 

132. Ibid, 

133. See, Majumdar, R.C., op. cit., Vol. Ill, p. 594. 

134. The TtibuiWy April 9, 1940. 

135. Fortnightly Report. Punjab : 1st half of August, 1940 ; Home Department, 
Political, August 1940, File 18, 


in Bhiwani tehsil, Lakarwali and Fatehabad in Sirsa tehsil,^®® 
and several villiages of Giirgaon, Karnal and Rohtak.^^^ 
national programme of the Congress was explained at length to the 
rural masses. The loyalists, as also the Unionists and Hindu 
Mahasabhaites, were bitterly criticised for. their helplul attitude 
towards the Government. This criticism led to many ugly 
incidents at many villages the worst being at Jasawar Kheri’®®, a 
village 10 miles from Hissar. A rural conference was organised 
at this village on February 24 1940. Hari Singh, a prominent 
local Jat leader was in the Chair. In the speeches that were 
made, there was attack on the loyalists in general and the Unionist 
Minister, Cbhotu Ram in particular.’®® The pro-Government 
elements succeeded in their attempt to disturb the meeting. 
There was a free for all and many persons were injured in the 
clash on both sides. Being in an over-whelming majority, the 
Congressmen ultimately succeeded in restoring order. Later, 
the villagers resorted to a social boycot of the .police and the 

This campaign had an impact on the people and the Congress 
organised meetings in Rohtak Villages which were the strong 
holds of the Unionists. Shri Ram Sharma, Nanhu Ram. Mool 
Chand Jain and many others toured 30 villages’^’ (of Rohtak) 
in the last week of December 1940 and addressed largely attended 
meetings. Thousands of rupees were collected for the ‘Satyagraha 
Fund’ and 300 Satyagrahais were enrolled.’^® Encouraged by 
this, Sham Lai (Rohtak) and Dada Ganeshi Lai (Flissar) took 
a whirlwind tour of the upper Haryana. Their most impressive 
visits were to Jagadhri, Ladwa, Thanesar, Shahabad and Ambala 
cityi43 jj 2 Karnal district a largely attended rural political con- 
ference was held at Khera village under the presidentship of Lala 

136. TheTribimet October 19, 1940, 

137. Fortnightly Report, Punjab : ITnd half of February 1940 .* Home Depart- 
ment, Political, February, 1940 ; File 18; Haryana, op, cit,, p. 124, 

138. Ibid. 

139. Ibid., Interview with Shri Ram Sharma and Dada Ganeshi Lai. 

140. Ibid. 

141. The Tribune, January 4, 1941. 

142. Ibid. 

143 . Ibki.^ Interview with Dada Ganeshi Lai, June 30, 1942, 


Duni Chand (Ambala)^*^'^ Lalaji called upon the people to join the 
Congress, have faith in non-violence and follow the constructive 
programme of the party. They were also asked to spin and 
weave Khadi daily. Several other meetings were also held in 
the district. In Gurgaon district, Rup Lai Mehta, General 
Secretary of the District Congress committee (Palwal) and 
Thakur Ram Singh, President of the District Congress Committee, 
visited several places in Rewari and Gurgaon tehsils and enrolled 
party members and Satyagrahis and asked them to be non- 

Gandhiji launched an individual Satyagraha movement on 
October 17, 1940. He instructed that one individual should 
go out at a time in the street shouting anti-war slogans and should 
get himself or herself arrested. The Satyagrahis were selected 
from among the members of the Working Committee of the 
AlMndia Congress Committee, the Central and Provincial legis- 
latures and eminent Congressmen. They offered themselves for 
arrest by shouting slogans. In Haryana, the Satyagrahis shouted 
the following slogans : TIelp to the Stanic Government in the 
War is sin*. ‘Don’t get your sons butchered for a few paisc for 
this dishonest Government’. ‘Better die for the independence 
of the motherland than to die for the Satanic Government’, 
‘Long Live the Revolution’. The Government took a very 
stiff attitude to suppress the Satyagraha and arrests were made 
In quick succession. The following table^^’ will show the dis- 
trict-wise break-up of arrests made in Haryana in connection with 
the Individual Satyagraha. 

The individual satyagraha movement continued for 15 
months when it was suspended by Gandhiji^'^®. At this, 
satyagrahis were released from jails^'‘®. The Tribune 

144. The Tribune, March 19, 1941. 

145. Ibid., January 25, 1941 . 

146. Interview with Shri Ram Sharma, Daulat Ram Gupta, Dada Ganeshi Lai 
and Lahri Singh. 

147. Fortnighlly Report, Punjab ; October to December 1940-41 .* December, 
1940-41; Home Department, Political. October to December 1940-4); File 

I'SiiThe Tribune, October-December 1940-41; Haryana Tiluk, cp. cit , p. 124 

148. Tendulkar, D.O., op. clt„ Yol. VI, pp. 1-3 ; Majumdar, R.C. op. cit., Vol. 
Ill, p. 608. 

149. Fortnightly Report, Punjab; 1st Half of December 1941 1 Home Depart- 
ment, Political, December 1941, File 18, 





Number of Arrests 













described their release as a belated gesture on the part of the 

The individual satyagraha was almost a failure. It had 
no impact on the Government at all. Nor did it satisfy the 
Congressmen and the tepid nature of the movement had little 
attraction for them. They saw Tittle glamour in going to jail 
like that.’ Fortunately, the Congressmen got a brilliant chance- 
after a short while to show their mettle. On August 8, 1942 
the All-India Congress Committee passed the ‘Quit India’ 
Resolution by an over-whelming majority. But on the next day, 
Gandhiji and other big leaders were arrested. This news spread 
like a wild fire. Hartals and meetings were held all over 
Haryana in which repressive policies of the Government were 
condemned and the ‘Quit India’ movement was popularised 
among the people. All classes of people took part in the 
movement. They flung themselves into the last battle of freedom 
struggle (do or die’). Their cheif targets of attack were means 
of communication-posts and telegraphs offices, telegraph wires and 
railways and Government offices, as the following table^®^ would 
show : 

150. Quoted in Fortnightly Report Punjab ; 1st Half of December 1941 .• Home 
Department, Political, December I94l, File 18. 

151. This information is based on personal interviews with the living freedom 
fighters of Haryana : Ranbir Singh, Sittal Parsed, Thaknr Shish Pal Singh, 
Bakshi Ram Kishan, Mange Ram Vatsa, Devi Lai, Balwant Rai, Radha 
Krishan Verma, and Comrade Ram Piara* 





Number of Destructive 

Stations attacked 


Post ofiices attacked 


Telegraph Wires cut (at places) 
Police Stations and other 


Government Buildings attacked 
Railway lines damaged by 


scrapping fish-plates 


The Government took a very serious view of all these 
violent activities and adopted repressive measures. It declared 
the Congress as an unlawful organisation. It resorted to lathi 
charges, firings and bursting of teargas shells in an attempt to 
suppress the movement. It arrested several Congress leaders 
throughout Haryana. The following table^®* will show arrests 
made from August 8, 1942 (when the movement was started) to 
May 5, 1944 (till the suspension of the movement) : 



District-wise Jailed 


Ambala Karnal Gurgaon Rohtak Hissaf 



















The struggle for the fight to finish continued upto to May 5 , 
1944 inspite of the repressive measures taken by the Government. 
It was then suspended as it began to fizzle out. As the great 
leaders, like Gandhiji and Juwahar Lai Nehru, were in jails there 
was none to give strength or direction to the movement. Secondly, 

,152. For details see Punjab Fortnightly Reports, August 1942 to December 1944 : 
Home Department, Political, August to December 944, File 18, 

iP iSo 

different revolutionary elements had joined the movement. It 
changed its character from non-violent to violent. The Govern- 
ment took immediate steps to fight violence by violence. To 
conclude, the movement of 1942 in Haryana failed to achieve 
any success. 

Another important event during the course of World War 11 
was the setting up of the Indian National Ar-my^^® by Subhash 
Chander Bose in 1942 which became a part and parcel of the 
Indian independence movement. He gave the I.N.A. the rousing 
war cry of "Delhi Chalo\ As many as 2,248 soldiers of Haryana 
joined the I. N. A. and their district-wise break-up is as 
follows^®* : — 































These officers and other ranks from Haryana fought many 
actions under the inspiring leadership of Netaji in the eastern 
sector. They did not care for their lives ; and as many as 273 of 
them gave their ‘blood’ for India' freedom. The district-wise 
break-up of these martyrs is as follows^®® ;~ 



"District Ambaia Karnal 





Officers — — 





Soldiers — 5 





Tatal ' — 5 





j53. For details, see Majiimdar, R.C. op. cU., Vol. Ill, pp. 101-27. 

\ 54. This information is based on the list of Free Jom fighters prepared by the 
Haryana Government. 

($5 For details, see Azad Hind Gazette, 1945 



Although the I.N.A. movement failed, yet its impact on our 
freedom struggle is great, especially in Haryana where 1975 of 
them came after being released and infused a new life in the 
national movement. They spoke against the Government in their 
towns and villages. As a result, the freedom struggle gained 
momentum in villages too. They brought the freedom near. 

Although the Quit India movement and the struggle of the 
I.N.A. bore no fruit, yet, indirectly, the two movements stirred 
the people so much that the whole country was prepared for 
freedom struggle and the Haryana territory was no exception. 


The Congress and the I.N.A. movements had a deep impact 
on the people of the ‘native states’ of Pataadi, Dujana, Loharu, 
Jind and partially of Patiala and Nabha. The rulers of these states 
had been recovering heavy land revenue, imposing unbearable taxes 
and taking Be gar {H aq-uUKhidmat) for the past several years, 
Because of these highhandedness discontentment was simmering in 
these states. When the Congress movement spread the awakened 
subject of these States made requests lo their rulers to ameliorate 
their conditions. But they did not listen to them. In consequence, 
they formed Praja Mandals in every stale and got them affiliated 
to the Punjab Riyasti Praja Mandal and, ultimately, to the State 
Peoples’ Conference^®®, an all-India body to fight the injustice 
done to the States’ people. They started agitations against their 
rulers. So far there was no political body in the States on the 
pattern of the Indian National Congress, 

It will not be out of place so mention about these states in 
the region and the struggle against their rulers, 

PATAUDI : Pataudi is a small town, 19 miles south-west of 
Gurgaon on the Rewari-Delhi railway line. The town was founded 
during the regime of Jalal ud-Din Khilji, by Pata, a Mewati chief 

156. Const mion of the All India Statss Peoples* Conference, Revised and pass id 
at the UdaipUr Session of the Conference, January 1946, Alla)^l?nd» 
1946. p. Z, 


from whom it derived its name^^’, This town and 40 villages 
were given to one Talab Faiz Khan by the British for his services 
rendered during the second Anglo-Maralha War (1803). The State 
had an area of about 53 square miles and a populatioh of about 
21.520 (rural 17,415: and urban 4,105) people^®®. A little less 
than 90 per cent of the population of Pataudi was of Hindus, The 
rest were Muslims, The gross annual income of the State was 
about Rs, 3-1/2 lakhs^®®, 

In the 1940s when the Praja mandal movement fiist started, 
here Mohammad Iftikhar Ali Khan, a cricketer of international 
fame, was the ruler of the state. Tho internal administration of the 
State was carried on by a Dewan, Khan Bahadur Sheikh Alam 
Ali. The administration was on the “whole inefficient and corrupt. 
Land revenue and taxes were heavy : and very little was spent on 
education and other facilities. The State had only a small dispen- 
sary and hve primary schools,^®® 

The people of Pataudi were backward in politics. The Con- 
gress activities in Gurgaon, however, had some impact on them 
and they formed a Praja Mandal on June 1, ]939’®h The people 
framed their demands (special reduction in the land revenue) in 
July 1939 under the presidentship of Maulana Nur-ud-din and 
gave an ultimatum for an agitation. The Nawab was at that time 
in England, captaining the Indian cricket He was tele- 

157. Imperial Gazetteer of India (Provincial series) Punjab^ (Calcutta, 1908), Vol. 
11, pp, 265-66. 

158. Simla 1941, Vol. VI (Punjab) pp. 2-3; NMM & L, File 

159. All-India State Peoples’ Conference Files pertaining to Praja Mandal Move- 
ment is preserved in Nehru Memorial Museum and Library. For Pataudi 
State see File 16 /1946-48 vide report No. 3412 submitted by Jugal Kishore 
Khanna and Jainarain Vyas. 

160. NMM & L, AI>PC, Flic 7/1940 vide report submitted by Nand Kishore 
Jain, Vice-President, Praja Mandal Pataudi State. 

161. Ibid. 

162. Letter from Jawahar Lai Ndiru, President, All India States Peoples’ 
Conference, under the title *Note on Pataudi' to the Pataudi State subjects, 
July 20, 1946 (Preserved in NMM ^ L), 


graphically informed of the situation. He at once returned and 
declared the Praja Mandal an illegal body.^®^ 

In consequence, the Praja Mandal started a satyagraha on 
August 17, 1939. Soon the number of satyagrahis reached 200. 
The State was not in a position to meet the financial burden 
satyagrahis put on it. On October 4, 1939 a huge meeting was 
held and 500 marched to the Palace to offer satyagraha. Seeing 
the gravity of the situation the Nawab made a compromise in 
writing with the office-bearers of the Praja Mandal on the follow- 
ing basis^®* : 

(i) Praja Mandal would be recognised as a legal body; 

(ji) Exemption of revenue for Kharif 1939 by 124/2 per cent 
would be effected; 

(iii) A committee, consisting of four elected members with 
the settlement officer to propose the new rale of revenue 
would be set up ; and 

(iv) The Punjab Panchayat Bill would be introduced. 

The satyagrahis were immediately released. The Nawab 
promised to fulfil other reforms soon. But unfortunately though 
the satyagraha was withdrawn, the Nawab did not fulfil his 
promise. The Praja Mandal, therefore, again gave an ultimatum 
to the Nawab on February 24, 1940.^®^ The ultimatum ran thus : 

(i) Declare immediately a 50 per cent reduction in land ^ 
revenue as the people were dying of starvation and not to com- 
pensate this reduction by levying other taxes as the people were 
hardly in a position to pay the levies. It suggested reduction in 
the Nawab^s private purse and cut in other administrative 

(ii) Set up a Committee whose members should be elected ' 
by the public to carry on the administration of the State, ha\ing 
full hold upon the State’s finance and power. 

(iii) Declare Praja Mandal as a legal body and grant civi] 
liberties to the people. 

163. NMM & L, AISPC, File 7/1940. 

164. Ibid, 

165. Ibid, File 162/1946-48, 

The Nawab did not care to aceept the demand { and 
consequently the Praja Mandal again came into conflict with the 
State authorities. The State police arrested the President and the 
Secretary of the Praja Mandal on March 9 and charged tflem under 
LP.C,, Sections 115-A, 121-A and 153-A, Many other arrests 
were made and thus almost all the prominent leaders of the. 
movement were put behind the bars, A notification was issued 
by the authorities declaring the Praja Mandal and its activities as 
illegal, The movement was thus suspended,^®** 

But shortly after the ‘Quit India’ movement in 1942, the 
Praja Mandal movement was again revived, Some old members 
of the Praja Mandal, headed by Rup Chand, presented a list of 
their grievances to the Nawab on March 17, 1946. The Nawab at 
once ordered arrests of all the leaders once again. In consequence, 
Rup Chand, Vinodi Lai, Gauri Shankar, Chhote Lai, Chandgi 
Ram, Ram Nath, Nand Kishore, Suraj Kishan, Net Ram, Ami 
Lai, Rama Nand and Ram Singh were put behind the bars.*^^ 
The people also accepted the challenge and started a satyagraha, 
A dharna was staged in front of the Dewan’s residence. It led to 
a firing and lathi charge by the police in which many people were 
injured. But this time all these repressive measures failed to 
suppress the movement. Rather it further gained momentum.^®® 

Now the Nawab had to yield. He released all the leaders 
from the jail and agreed to concede to their demands. 

DUJANA ; Dujana was a small state, having an area of 91 
square miles and a population of 30,666 (rural 26,388 and urban 
4,278 people).^’® The total revenue of the State was Rs. 231,000 
per annurn^^® Dujaua, a small town, 37 miles west of Delhi, was 
its headquarters.i’i The stale had one town and 32 villagcs.^^a 

166. Ibid. Interview with Rup ChanJ, Gauri Shankar and Nand Kishore on 
August 20, 1972. 

167. Report on Pataudi ; Submitted by Jainarain Vyas, General Secretary, 
A.I.S.P.C,, vide No. 3399, dated December 20, 1946. 

168. Interview with Rup Chand, Gauri Shankar and Nand Kishore on August 
20, 1972. 

169. Census of India^ 1941, Vol. VI (Punjab), pp. 2-3. 

170. Ibid. 

171. Ibid.t All India States’ Peoples’ Conference : Dujana State, File R.C, 11.3. 

172. Imperial Qaz^teer of India (Provincial series) Punjab^ Vol. 11^ p. 36^, 



In 1945, the State was ruled by Ikatdar Ali Khan, who was 
an illiterate man. He played in the hare’s of one Umardraz Khan 
to whom he had raised from a school teacher to the post of Naib 
Dewan.^’® He was ‘looting and robbing the people mercilessly 
and imposed heavy taxes. Nahar, which was a district of the 
State, was ruled by a Nazim. Leaving Dujana and Mahrana, 
there was no dispensary and one school for 30 villages,^’* 

Dissatisfied with the administration of the State, the people 
organised a ‘Praja MandaP with its headquarters at Nahar in 1945. 
Dev Karan Singh and Sardar Singh became President and General 
Secretary respectively of the Dujana Raj Praja Mandal, Nahar.^’® 
Among others Neki Ram Yadav, Hari Ram Arya, Tara Chand 
Arya, Budh Ram, Sheo Chand, Mohan Lai and Ramjilal were its 
active workers. 

The leaders of the Praja Mandal movement sent many 
memoranda to the Nawab enlisting their demands. But he paid 
no heed to them. Eventually, they exhorted the people to start a 
civil disobedience movement, and the people of the State refused 
to pay taxes. As a result, the Nawab became restless and adopted 
repressive measures in order to suppress their movement. D:v 
Karan, alongwith 10 other active workers of the Praja Mandal 
was arrerted. They were kept in jail for two months without 
any trial.^^’^ 

As a protest against the Nawab’s action, the Dujana Praja 
Mandal organised a Haryana Rith Political Conference at Nahar 
on Novemcer 19, 1946.^'^® Besides local leaders, Brish Bhan and 
Harbans Lai, President and General Secretary of the Punjab States, 
Praja Mandal, took part in it.^^® The Conference condemned the 
strict attitude of the Nawab towards the Praja Mandal leaders 
and demanded their unconditional release. The conference 
established a board, consisting of Brish Bhan, President of the 

173. NMM&L, File R.C. 11.3. 

174. Ibid. 

17 s Based on personal interview with living Praja Mandal leaders r Dev Karan 
Singli, Sardar Singh, Tara Chand Arya, Budh Ram, Hari Ram Arya 
and Neki Ram Yadav. 

176. Ibid, 

177. NMM & L, File R.C. 11,3 vide letter No. 135. 
m. Ibid: 

179. Ibid. 

^ . 


Punjab State Regional Council, Hari Singh, President of the Jind 
State Praja Mandal, Mangli Ram Yadav, President of the Jhajjar 
tehsil Congress Committee, Dev Karan and Tara Chand Arya, 
President and General Secretary of the Dujana Praja Mandal 
respectively, in order to place their case before the Nawab.^®° 
Negotiations were continued for a pretty long period. Ultimately 
in February 1947 the Nawab bowed down before the Praja Mandal 
and released all its leaders. He conceded all the demands of the 

LOHARU : The State of Loharu was situated in the south-east 
corner of Punjab on the borders of Rajasthan.’®^ It had an 
area of 226 square miles and a population of 27,892 (rural 23,869 
and urban 4,023) people.^®® 

The founder of the State was Ahmed Baksh Khan, a Mughal 
Sardar who was employed by the Raja of Alwar in consultation 
with Lord Lake in 1803. In recognition of his services, he received 
Loharu in perpetuity from the Raja. In 1940’s, his third 
descendant Mirza Aizuddin Ahmed Khan was the ruler. He was 
not an enlightened person and trade, commerce, industriy, 
irrigation, education, medical facilities and development were 
sadly neglected by him. Besides, the Nawab realised heavy land 
revenue and a camel tax (probably Rs. 2-8-3 per head, was levied 
on every owner of a camel). Various other taxes were also 
imposed. He was also intolerant of other religions. 

In 1940, the Arya Samaj leaders, like Thakur Bhagwat Singh, 
Nihal Singh Taksaq, Nathu Ram, Ganga Sahai, Bansi Lai and 
Shankar Lai raised their voice against the religious intolerance and 
cruelty of the Nawab, The Nawab tried to suppress them but 
failed. Meanwhile they formed Praja Mandal also which raised 
its voice against the collection of land revenue at Dussehra and 

180. Ibid. 

181. Ibid, 

182. Punjab Districts Gazetteers, Vol. II-A, District and Loharu State^ 

1904, p. 80. 

183. Census of India, 1941, Vol. VI (Punjab), pp. 2-3. 

184. For details see Fortnightly Report, Punjab : January to December 1934 : 
Home Department, Political Proceedings, August 1935, File 18 ; The 
Tribune, August 11, 1935, 


camel They also demanded appointment of Hindus, who 

were 95 per cent of the total population, on higher posts, Neki 
Ram Sharma also helped the cause of the Loharu people. At last, 
the Nawab accepted all their demands. 

JIND : The present tehsil of Dadri, and the District of 
Jind formed a part of the Jind State. This area then constituted 
the Jind Nizamat, consisting of Jind and Dadri tehsils. It had 
an area of 1,026 square miles, three towns and 346 villages. Its 
population was 279,284.^®® The ruler of the State was Maharaja 
Ranbir Singh.- Like other States it was also in a moribund con- 
dition. The pepople made the demands to improve their condi- 
tion but the Nawab paid no heed to them. 

Thus a Parja Mandal movement was started in 1939 in 
order to get redressal of the people’s grievances. , Their promi- 
nent leaders were Banarasi Das Gupta, Lahri Singh, Sagar Datt 
Gaur, Ram Kishan, Nihal Singh Taksaq and Shiv Karan.^®’ Ever 
since its formation the Praja Mandal waged relentless struggle 
against the Ruler.^®® On his part the Ruler fought heroically. 
The movement became more violent at Charkhi Dadri. In 
February 1947 a state of revolt prevailed and a parallel Govern- 
ment was established by the Praja Mandal leaders.^®® Nihal 
Singh Takshaq was the main leader of the movement. When the 
movement assumed alarming proportions, the (Jind) State autho- 
rities became nervous and called Pattabhi Sitarammya, a vete- 
ran Congress leader, to solve the issue.^®® Later, the (Jind) State 
Ruler conceded to almost all the demands and released the arrested 
leaders and satyagrahis^®^ 

PATIALIA : The present tehsils of Narnaul and Mahen- 
dergarh formed a part of rhe Patiala State (since 1858). This 
region was called the Mahendergarh Nizamat consisting of two 

185. Ibid, 

186. Census of India, 1911, Vol, VI (Punjab), po. 2-3 ; Jeraes Douie, The Punjab 
North West Frontier Province ml Kashmir, London, 1916, pp. 276-77. 

187. Based on personal interviews with living leaders of the Praja Mandal t 
Banarsi Das Gupta, Sagar Datt Gaur and Lahri Singh. 

188. Daily Mllap, December, 4, 1946. 

189. The HiiUustan Tirrns, Micch 28, 1947. 

190. Ibid . 

191 . Wd. 



tehsils: Narwana and Narnaul. Mahendergarh was its headquar- 
ters. Maharaja Yadvindra Singh was the ruler of the State in 
1938 when the Praja Mandal movement first started. Though 
he was a progressive ruler yet the general condition of the people 
was not satisfactory. Narnaul and Budhlada were the iinportant 
centres of the Praja Mandal movement. Here public m?:etings 
were held almost daily in which the authorities were condemned 
severely. During the Quit India rnovenient (1942) many Cong- 
ress leaders were arrested. It had a great impact on some poli- 
tically minded persons of the State, especially at Narnaul. Here 
about 18 persons planned to create disturbances and some objec- 
tionable posters were distributed. But before they could ej^ecute 
their plans a country made bomb exploded. This exposed them and 
the authorities carried out investigation.*®^ All the 18 persons were 
arrested. This stirred the whole of Narnaul city. People observed 
hartal and demanded release of the arrested persons. Similar news 
came from other parts of the State. Ultimately, the Raja ordered 
the release of these persons and conceded to their reasonable 

NABHA ; The present tehsil ofBawal with an area of 282 
square miles and a population of 91,723’®® was a part of the Nabha 
State (since 1858). Partap Singh was the ruler of this State. He 
used to take 'begar* (forced labour) and levied other exhoibitant 
taxes on the people. No facilities, such as education and hospitals, 
etc., were provided by him. 

Owing to their sufferings, political awakening came to the 
people of this State also and the Praja Mandal movement was 
started just after world war II, Madho Singh of Kanti was the 
founder of this movement.^®® Besides him other prominent leaders 
were Mathura Parsad, Devaki Nardan, Rup Narain, Din 
Dayal, Mata Din Bhardwaj, Ishwar Singh Azad, Shyam Manohar, 

192. Nijjar, B.S. Punjab Under The British Buie, 1849-1947, Delhi. 1974, Vol.lII, 
pp. 36-38. 

193. Records of Padala State, Prime Mfuistefs Office File 670 (Patiala; 
Slate Archives); Interview with Mata Din Bhardwaj, Mangla Bara, Mansa 
Ram and Mehtab Singh, September, 25, 1970. 

194. See, Activities of the workers of th^ Punjab Kisan Comnu'tee in Punjab Stptes, 
case No. 830-C of 1939, August, 24, 1943, pp, 363, 

195. Census of India, 1941, Vol, VI (Punjab), p.55. 

196. NMM & L, AISPC, Nabha State File, R.C.1I.7, March 25, 1946. 

13 ^ 

fouticaL developments in Haryana 

R^tdeshwar Singh and Mukh Rani Sharma.^®^ Even some women 
participated in the movement. Kanila Bai, their leader, exhorted 
the women to follow the example of Rani of Jhansi and 
Chand Bibi.^®^ Captain Shiv Narain and Kirpa Ram, ex-INA 
Officers of Bawal also urged the people to fight for freedom. A 
forceful demand was put forth for a lesponsiblc Government in 
the StateA®® 

Oil March 25. 1946, the State police atrested all the prominent 
leaders and the authorities promulgat:d an order under Section 
144 O.P-.C, in the Bawal area. As a protest, a movement was started 
by iht people. On March 26, a jatha of 53 volunteers, accompa- 
nied by Dr. Umrao Singh, Kamla Bai and Babu Ram Sharma, 
was sent to Bawal.^®® They violated the prohibitory order and 
were arrested. The educated people also came forward and 
supported the movemmt. Ul imatey, the Raja released all the 
prisoners and conceded to their demands. 

These details show that the people in the Haryana States ' 
also became politically conscious in the 1940s. After the war, 
their movement, almost in every State, gained momentum and 
the rulers had to concede to their dernands. 


After the end of the war, election to both the Central and 
State Legislatures were held in 1946. Electioneering W'as started by 
all parties in right earnest. Many Central and Punjab Congress 
leaders visited Haryana, addresed election meetings at various 
places, giving the message of the Congress to lakhs of people"®^ 
The Unionist party was not very active. Its great leaders, Chhotu 
Ram ahd Sikander Hayat, were no more there.^os in their 
absence the Unionist policy was explained by Khizer Hayat Khan, 
The Muslim League was active and several of its eaders visited the 

197. Ibid: Interview with Mata Din Bhardwaj, June 30, 1970. 

198. Ibid", NSjjar, B.S.,op., cit., p.U2. 

199. Ibid. 

200. NMM 4& L, R.C, 11.7, M.irch 25, 1946. 

200. See Records of NabJia State, File 509-B, Reporf of the District Mastis- 
trate^ September 25, 1946. ^ 

202. TheWbum, Janu ry 4, 1946. 

203> See^ Legislative Assembly Debates, February 19,1945, p*6, 

y|,’ 140 

Muslim majority places. At the polls the Congress fared well 
(Table XI) winning 11 out of 21 seats. 

T A B L E — XI 





1 . Mohammad Hassan 

Muslim L'^ague Ambala Simla (Muslim) 

2. Prithvi Siagb Azad 


Ambala Simla (Reserved'^. 

3. Rattan Singh. 


Ambala Simla (General 

4. Sunder Lai 


Karnal North (General 

5 . Samar Singh 


Karnal South (General) 

6 , Jagdish Chander 


Karnal North (General) 

7, Maulvi Ahmed Jan 



Karnal (Muslim) 

8 , Abdul Hamid Khan 



Karnal South (Muslim) 

9 . Prem Singh 




10. Mohar Singh 


Gurgaon North-West 
(General — rural) 

11. Mehtab Khan 



Gurgaon North-West 

12. Jiwan Lai 


Gurgaon South-East 

13. Mohammad Khurshid Muslim 

Gurgaon North-West 

14. Sher Singh 


Jhajjar (General) 

15. Badlu Ram 


Rohtak (General) 

16. Sahib Ram 


Hissar North (General) 

17- alahib Dad Khan 



Hlssar (Muslim) 

18. Lahri Singh 


Hissar South 
(Central —rural) 

19. Suraj Mai 


Hansi (General— Urban) 

20. Shri Ram Sharma 


Southern towns (General- 

21. Shanno Devi 


Southern-Eastern towns 
(Genral— Urban) 

2o4 For details, see NMVl & L, File 12/1945; The Tribune^ February 19-23, 194$: 
Tf{?lri(lianrmrJBook, 150-51, 



The Muslim League, which got the second position, won 
six seats and the Unionist Party four. Two Congress members 
were elected to the Central Assembly from this region. 

The results of the electicns of 1946 made the struggle in 
Punjab almost inevitable. On the cne hand, the Muslim League 
and the Congress and on the other, the Akali Dal and the 
Unionist Party were closely matched in the House of 175 as the 
following table would show*®® ; — 

T A B L E — XII 




Muslim League 

75 '' 











Though the Muslim League got 75 seats, still it was not in 
a clear majority, and as such it could not form a ministry. 
However, the Congress, the Unionists and the Akalis joined hands 
and formed a coalition ministry under Khizer Hayat Khan.*®« 
The ministry, however, could not function properly because the 
Muslim League did not allow it to procceed with business. It 
pressed hard for partition.*®’ There were commual riots at various 
places to which Haryana was no exception. The commual 
situation became serious at Rohtak, Hissar, Ambala end 
Gurgoan.®®® The troops, however, brought the situation under 
control in the first three districts*®®. But not in Gurgaon, where 

205. The Tribune, February 24, 1946; NMM&L, File 12/1945*46; MJ'raN.M, 
op.cit,, 1946, vol. 1. 

206. The Tribune, February 28, 1946; Mltra N.N., op.cU* pp.6‘7. 

207. Ibid., March 23. 1947. 

70%. Ibid., March 14, 1947; NMM &L, File G-IO/1947; Baryana Ti(k^ 
April 13, 1947; The Tribune, April, 11, 1947, 

209, The Tribme March }5j 1947, 

it worsened and became out of control. Especially, in the south- 
western parts, called Mewat, there were serious clashes between the 
Meos and the Baluchs on the one side and the Ahirs, the Rajputs, 
the Gujars and the Jats on the other. The district was declared a 
dangbroiisly disturbed area under section 3 ot* the Punjab Distur- 
bed Areas Act, 1947 by a Government notification.®^® This 
declaration gave extra-ordinary powers to civil and military 
authorities in the area. Tnspite of this, the riots could not be 
controlled. There was a lot of bloodshed; hundreds of Hindus 
and Muslims lost their lives and property worth lakhs of 
rupees. This bloody tamasha was ulti mately slopped after 
a month by the strong measures of the Punjab Government 
and intervention of the Congress leaders from Delhi.®^*^ 

After this dark hour, the bright sun shone in the east on 
August 15, 1947. The ‘tri-colour’ was unfurled at the historic 
Red Fort and India became free. The people of Haryana danced 
with joy in every village and in every town. Their sacrifices 
bore fruits at last, 

210, The Tribune, Mafch 25, 1947. 

211. For deiails of these bloody happenings, see NMM & L, File G-10/1947; The 
tribune, March 13-14, 25, April 5;8.9, 13 and June^ 5, 1947; The ^Bindu'sfan 
TitneSf August 20, 1947, 

J.N. Siugh Yadav, M.A., Ph. D. 

The emergence of Haryana as a new State on November 1, 
1966 on the political map of India was not considered to be an 
incidence of significant importance at the time of its inception. 
It was a bold and farsighted decision on the part of the Prime 
Minister Smt. Indira Gandhi to have created the new state 
after bifurcating the problematic state of Punjab. In a way, it 
amounted to reversal of earlier policy of the central leadership 
not to create new states any more in general and to bifuracate 
the border state of Panjab in particular. The people in general did 
not consider the formation of the new state as a happy incidence. 
No one, at that time even had an iota of imagination that 
this small state would play an important role in the body politic 
of India. The economists had serious doubts about the viability 
of this small state : the new state was poor in basic resources 
and therefore would not be able to hold its own for long. But 
the events to come proved beyond anybody’s comprehension that 
the bold experimental step taken by Smt. Gandhi, was a far 
sighted decision of mature statesmanship. 


Political and Socio-Economic Set Up 

Haryana, at the time of its birth, was not only the smallest 
Stale of the Indian Federation, but it was also one of the most 
under-developed States of the country. Its set up had remained 
predominantly riiraP with agricultural economy devoid of any 
sort of mechanisation in their pursuits. The process of idustrialis- 
ation, urbanisation and modernisation had also not been satisfac- 
tory in this part of the country. 

1, According to 1971 Census, 82% of Haryaia’s 10.035 , 8p8 p^ple live in 


Secondly, low rate of literacy'-* interacted on the process of 
politicization and the apathy of the inhabitants in participation 
in the affairs of the State. The region, with a few exceptions, 
had only been able to produce people with their love for farming 
and soldiery, but not politicians of national stature, what to talk 
of international faihe. 

Thirdly, the state, like any other region of the country, 
suffered the evils of parochial caste loyalties which dominated the 
socio-political realm as against loyalty to a broader political 
community. Perhaps the lower rate of literacy has something to 
do with this enginia. But as regards this factor, Haryana could 
not be singled out. The factor is present in Indian politics. 

The degree of intensity of its influence depends upon the situa- 
tional factors. In Haryana, it can be claimed that the intensity 
is lower than what it is in Bihar or Uttar Pradesh. If there exist 
some sort of intercaste rivalry, it is not absent in the form of 
intracaste too. No caste in Haryana could (andean) claim to 
hold the political scales even without the support of more than 
one community. Therefore, this interdependence of castes is a 
happy phenomenon of the State politics. Moreover, Haryana 
has made it clear that caste loyalties and considerations are on 
the wean^ due to present rate of development. 

Fourthly, the region has suffered by the politics of fragmen- 
tation at the hands of Britishers in 1858 as a result of punishment 
for their participation in the First War of Independence. They 
also suffered from this even after independence when rest of the ‘ ^ 

fragmented regions of the Country were integrated into States 
with identical social and politico-cultural background. One part 
of Haryana was tagged on the PEPSU while the other part 
remained with the erstwhile Punjab. This “mistake” was not 
rectified even when the Indian States were reorganised on the 
lingual and socio-cultural bases in 1956. The PEPSU was merged 
with Punjab in 1956, which later on paved the way for the 
creation of Haryana.* 

' aT 



26.7% in 1971 as against 29.4% of the country, 

Though no caste-wise figures are officially available, yef it is a rough 
is the ratio of different castes in the State l Jats 
23 /o, Ahirs 8%, Gujars 6%, Harijans 20%, Meos 2%, Rajputs 3%, 
Brahmins 14%, Punjabis 16% and others 7% 

Still the regions which were disintegrated and formed the parts of other 



Fifthly, though small in size, area and population, the 
State was not a^ homogeneous blending of ethnic and political 
groupings. The interaction of caste politics could be noticed in 
the form of factional politics which had not only presisted at the 
time of creation of this State but also had gradually come to 
dominate the internal affairs of almost all the political parties in 
Haryana. The political parties reflect the political and social system 
in a given milieu. The creation of the new State and creating 
power-structure eclipsed the integrative spirit within the ruling 
(Congress) party which developed a tendency *of capturing 
governmental power.’ This intraparty struggle reflected the 
frustration of the ruling elite and their politics became the 
politics of power instead of principle. Later on, as a repercussion 
this feature emerged as a strong variable in the politics of the 
state as ‘politics of defection and opportunism’. 


At the time of inspection of Haryana in 1966, fresh election 
were impracticable and the State assembly was formed of the 
old composite Panjab assembly, belonging to the Haryana region. 
The party-wise position in the (new) Haryana assembly was as 
follows : 


Party-wise position in the Assembly on November 1, 1966 

Indian National 

Sarny ukta 



Jan Sangh 

Progressive Total 
dents Party 






%age 94.44 





* 3 opposition members joined Congress Party on tiie eve of birfurcation. 

The above table shows that the Congress party commanded 
absolute majority in the assembly. The number of opposition 

neighbouring States were not integrated with Haryana. Hence the 
demand for formation of Vishal Haryana came. But, later on Biren- 
der Singh tried to make political capital out of this demand. As a 
result of this attitude the demand was associated with a regional politi- 
cal party got and only limited support. 


members was only 3, and hence, politically ineffective. The ruling 
party had no challange from the opposition. The Congress 
Party chose Bhagwat Dayal its leader and he became the first Chief 
Minister of Haryana on November 1, 1966. He was the 
Congress President of the erstwhile Panjab and had a better 
rapport with the Central leadership. Earliar Bhagwat Dayal 
had firmly associated himself with the powers opposing the 
bifurcation® of Panjab on the lingual basis. Later on, however, 
when the State was conceded to in principle,' he involved 
himself actively in the process, 

Bhagwat Dayal emphatically stated that he was in favour of 
a small Council of Ministers® but as the Congress party was a 
house divided against itself, he had to include as many as fifteen 
other Ministers and Deputy Ministers in his Council of Ministers. 
Thus, every third legislator was a Minister or a Deputy Minister. 
However, once saddled in the new set-up, Sharma began to 
weed out his political opponents and prospective candidates for 
Chief Ministership, depriving them of share in power and thus 
neutralising their political influence. In order to have a hold 
on the organisational wing of the Party, he managed unanimous 
election of Ram Krishna Gupta as the President of Haryana 
Pradesh Congress Committee (HPCC)’ on November 18, 1966. 
In spite of all this, T. Manaen, AICC General Secretary, had to 
appeal to the Congressmen to remain united and work in 
harmony. He called upon such elements in the parly which did 
not subscribe to its ideology and programme “to leave the party 
instead of creating bickerings and dividing its ranks into various 
groups and factions’'.® 

Politically, the Stale did not inherit any of Panjab’s problems 
— it was free from intractable and difficult political parties, 
with no Akali— like politics, no language problem, no communist 
pocl^ets, even the Jan Sangh was weak. But the intra factional 
rivalary in the Congress party made the situation uncomfortable. 

5. See, The Hindustan Times^ December 24, 1965, 
The Indian Express, January 1, 1966. 

6. TTie Tribune, October 26, 1966. 

7. The Times of India, November 19, 1966. 

8. Ibid 


The plethora of opportunism and personnal jealousies that came 
to surface were the despair and laughing stock of political 
observers. The Congress legislators were, however, advised by the 
High Command to cooperate with the State leadership and not to 
aggravate the situation in any way. In consequence, the disgru- 
ntled members had to restrain themselves as the time for next 
general election was approaching. They wished to undo the 
political misdeeds of Bhagwat Dayal in the ensuing elections. 

Haryana leadership had to face the first challenge, when 
Sant Fateh Singh announced his decision of self immolation in 
case Chandigarh was not awarded to Panjab before December 27 
1966. In New Delhi, a meeting of the central leaders was arranged 
with the Chief Ministers and other leaders of Punjab and 
Haryana on the night of December 25, 1956, It was a matter of 
concern for all and Smt. Gandhi wanted to solve the tangle in 
right earnest. It is said that Suit. Gandhi was annoyed by the 
recalitrant and adament behaviour of the Chief Minister Bhagwat 
Dayal, who insisted that old Delhi should be given to Haryana in 
case Chandigarh was transferred to Punjab. This was one of the 

reasons ofousting of Bhagwat Dayal in 1967. He mistook him- 
self as a leader of all-India stature due to his place in the INTUCK 
and therefore, instead of cooperating as a disciplined soldier of 
the Congress Party, he behaved in a different manner.® But inspite 
of this, the coxing problem was solved by Smt. Gandhi in most 
satisfactory way by her statesmanship. Later on, proposal of 
arbitration by the Prime Minister was accepted by the Chief 
Ministers of Punjab and Haryana. Since the general elections 
were close at hand, the arbitration had to be postponed.^® 


Fourth General Election 

Haryana went to polls on February 17, 1967. It was the first 
general election for the new State, and therefore, an occasion for 
the people not merely to give their verdict in favour of one or the 

9? He had the support of Oulzarl Lai Nanda and Morarjl Desal, in particular, 
in the Congress High Command of that time. 

10. For details in this connection, see Yadav, K.C., Chandl^urlhm tnte^ql 
part of Haryana^ Delhi. 

148 _ ^ 

other political party but to give to Haryana a political pattern 
and However, the people of the Haryana experienced 
and learnt some interesting things during these elections. Every 
influential Congress leader, including the then Chief Minister 
Bhagwat Dayal, and the Congress President Ram Krishan Gupta 
not only covertly helped the candidates opposing the official 
Congress candidates hut also sponsored and supported their ‘own* 
candidates in many constituencies. Ram Krishan Gupta would 
not tour or support ‘financially* the candidates of Bhagwat Dayal. 

Birender Singh, whose claim for Chief Ministership was frustrated 
earlier by Bhagwat Dayal, had an eye on the oflice and was, there- 
fore, trying to bring his own men by opposing the Congress can- 
didates, particularly in the Ahir b-^lt consisting of Mahendergarb, 

Gurgaon and a part of Rohtak district. Thus, internal differences 
in the Congress led to considerable tension and disaray,!* political 
atmosphere remaining uncertain. Now the intraparty factional 
behaviour of the Congressmen was quite indicative of the coming 
events. On the other hand, the opposition was trying to have 
a united front. There was an alliance between the Swatantra 
Party and the Jan Sangh to give Congress a tough fight. 

political Behaviour Of The Voters 

The Congress was by far the best organised party with ample 
resources and following at its disposal. But owing to intra party 
dissensions it could secure only 48 seats in the Assembly. This, ^ 

hoA^ever, placed the party in comfortable majority to form its 

The Congress Party secured 7 seats in the Lok Sabha elec, 
tion and lost one each to Bhartiya Jan Sangh and an Independent. 

The p3rc:ntage of voter-participants was as high as 72.65%, and 
a clear indication of political consciousness and participation in 

11. Kashyap, Subbash C., The Politics of Power, Delhi, 1974, p.262. 

12. Bhawat Diyal was well aw ire of tbs co iseq i nces that this sort of political 
atmosphere would result in and tried to take some measures to effect imp- 
rovement in the situation. He induced and inducted Blrender Singh in the 
ten-member Election Committee wl.o, according to the press reports, was 
likely .0 leave the Congress on the eve of general election. He also sought 
to capitalise on the sentiments of the people that only a stable and suitable 
leadership of CONGRESS RULE could bring rapid economic development 
to the State. 

5inha> B.B., 'The Fourth Fpteral in Har^mna' foe. c(t.i p. 206j ^ 

Voters participation and political parties p;rformince in 1957— Aissmbly and Lok Sabha— B lections 


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Election Commission, India, 1967, 43-44. pp.5,107. 

^ 151 

the affairs of the State. At least 8 political parties fielded their 
candidates to contest the assembly as well as Lok Sabha elections, 
the number of Independent-contestants was 260 in case of Assem- 
bly and 36 for the Lok Sabha election. But except the Indian 
National Congress no other party, particularly with Leftist lean- 
ings, did well. The BhartLya Jan Sangh emerged as second largest 
party with 12 members in the assembly (with 14.39% votes). In 
Lok Sabha, it could get one seat from Haryana. No other party 
could make a dent in the Congress monopoly! A large number 
of Independents (196 ), all the candidates of Communist Parties, 
PSP and RPI lost their security deposits. 4 SSP (out of 5), 2 
BJS (out of 7) and 1 Swatantra (out of 2), condidates also forfeited 
their security deposites. 

The results of the election were also indicative of the voting 
behaviour of the people of the State and thus some clear trends 
emerged. They did not show any consideration for the Left 
parties, and voted either for the Congress or the Rightists. The 
main reason for this political behaviour and voting pattern can be 
understood in the light of the aspiration of different communities 
to see their own caste leaders to be the Chief Minister. They 
did not see any prospect for the Left parties, and thus thought it 
useless to vote for the latter. Moreover, the land-owing farming- 
majority had no taste for the Left ideology which could endanger 
their proprietership of the land. The influence of the big land- 
lords could also be noticed on the voting behaviour of the voters. 
Similarly, the Congress party rationalised the quota of Congress- 
tickets on the caste basis. Absence of the big cities, industrial 
establishments and workers organisations was one more determi- 
nant factor for the success of parties with rightist leanings. 
The socialist and left parties were completely routed and 
could secure hardly 5.22 per cent, of the total votes polled and no 
seat in the state assembly. The Jana Sangh made a determined 
bid to make an entry into the politics of the Staten the 1967 
elections. The outcome of the election results were beyond any 
body’s comprehension when it secured- 12 (14,81%) seats and 
14.39% votes. Their storng holds were mainly the urban poulation 
dominated by Punjabi refugees. The leadership and social base 
of the party was typically urban middle class. The policies and 
programmes of the Party failed to attract the rural masses. 
However, the Jan Sangh played a very vital role in the politics of 
Haryana during the year 1967, The Swatantra Party was third in 



the race with 3.18% of votes and 3 (3.58%) seats in the assembly. 
Even the performance of the Republican party was better than 
the Socialists or the left parties, it contested 24 seats and got 
2.90% votes and 2 (2.46%) seats. 

But another startling outcome of the poll was the victory of 
16 Independents who made a frantic bid to enter the state politics 
which resulted in creating imbalance in the power structure. They 
contested every seat in the State and polled more votes then the 
all opposition parties combined except the Congress, that is, 998, 
969 (32.97%). It was a clear indicative of the voting behaviour of 
the voters, who showed much consideration for the individualities, 
instead of parties or their programmes. The Independents were 
responsible, to an extent, in encouraging defections and counter 
defections in the future. 

Voting Pattern In Lok Sabha Elections 

There were 9 constituencies for the Lok Sabha in the State. 
The Congress contested all the nine, while the Swatantra, Bhartiya 
^ Jan Sangh and the Republican Party of India fielded their candi- 
dates for 2,7 and 2 seats respectively. The SSP put 5, PSP 1, 
CPI 3, and the CP (M) 2 candidates for the election. The number 
of Independents was 36, the ratio of 4 to 1 per constituency, in 
case of assembly elections, no doubt it is comparatively less, that is 
3.21. But the balance of result tilted heavily in favour of Cong- 
ress, which bagged 7 seats. Jan Sangh was also successful in get- 
ting one seat while the other one went to an Independent (Table 
III). The votes polled by the political parties were higher in 
every case compared with the assembly polling. It was a clear 
I case of cross-voting. Obviously, the candidates contesting either 

the Lok Sabha or the Assembly seat did not insist upon to their 
voters to vote for the candidates of their parties in the both cases, 
instead they asked them to vote only for themselves and thus 
leaving the voters to their liking for the first/second vote. 

On the other hand, it shows that the voters did not give 
much weightage to the Independents. The only Independent who 
won the election from Gurgaon constituency was a former Cong- 
ressman of long standing, belonging to Muslim Community, and 
thus had an edge over other candidates including the Congress 
nominee, specially in a constituency where there is a sizeabls 

number of Muslim (Meo) voters. The conslitueJicy has been jrepre- 
sented—with only one exception when after the death of Maulana 
Abul Kalam Azad, Parkash Vir Shastri got elected in the by elec- 
tion in 1956— by a Muslim candidate. So it has been a Muslim 
constituency till its redelimitation in 1976. Another constituency 
lost by the Congress was Ambala (reserved for Scheduled Castes). 
The Jan Sangh candidate defeated his nearest rival Congress 
nominee by a margin of 8,700 votes polling 128,003 votes(40.47%). 
The Congress bagged 7 seats with 1,334, 830 votes (44.06%) 
(Table III). 

The constituency wise performance of the different political 
parties and Independents also varied (Table IV). The Congress got 
the highest number of votes in Jhajjar— 209,492 votes with 58.80% 
of total votes polled. Its score was lowest in Gurgaon with 87,018 
votes(24.91%). The Left and Socialist Parties got only 8.39% votes, 
which was just 0.49% more than the votes secured by Swatantra 
Party and the Republican Party of India. Interestingly, the percen- 
tage of votes polled by the Independents was higher than the votes 
bagged by all opposition parties. It shows that personality, caste, 
sub-caste(particularly in the Jat-dominated areas) and communal- 
ism played an important role in voting behaviour of the voters. The 
absence of industrialised cities, workers or peasantry-organisations 
and higher rate of literacy were the determinant factors for the 
voting pattern and rejection of Left and Socialist oriented parties. 
Ordinarily there were habitual Congress voters and they found no 
zest for others. The absence of a strong national or state level 
alternative was also a favourable factor for pro-Congress trend. 
All the same, people did not show any consideration for the prog- 
rammes and menifestoes of the parties. For instance, the Congress 
party was never successful in the Mahendergarh (Lok Sabha) 
constituency, till it gave its ticket to Rao Gajraj Singh, belonging 
to the majority Community— Yadavas— in 1967. 

No constituency returned an uncontested candidate to Lok 
Sabha or Legislative Assembly (see Table IV). There were multi- 
cornered contests in the case of Lok Sabha and the Assembly-only 
one being direct in each case. In majority cases, the Congress 
was benefitted wherever there were multi-cornered contests, as it 
had reserve votes in the form of Harijans, backward classes and 
other committed Congressmen. It had a better cadre-based organ- 
isation in the state in comparison to other parties. The opposition 


parties had no political alliances, electoral pacts, understanding 
or criteria for nomination of candidates. They did not have any 
common programme or strategy and compaigning. Had there 
been any alliance or understanding between the opposition parties, 
they could have won more seats, particularly in the assemblyf 


Politics Of Power 

Under the ‘directives’ of the High Command, Bhagwat Dayal 
was unanimously re-elected the leader of the Congress Legislatuie 
Party in the new Assembly on March 4, 1967^*, and was sworn in 
as the Chief Minister for the second time. On March 10, a 
11-man Council of Ministers was sworn in. The district wise break- 
up was as under^^ : 


Ambala Rohtak Karnal Jind Hissar Mahender Garb Gurgaon 
2 3 2 1 2 1 Nil 

The Chief Minister, it seems, did not learn any lesson from 
his past experiences. His haughty temprament and rigid attitude 
probably obliged him in not doing so. And soon after assuming 
the Chief Ministership, he again embarked upon the old path of 
crushing his political opponents within the party. Birender Singh, 
Chand Ram and none of their supporters were included in the 
Council of Ministers. Even Rizak Ram and Hardwari Lai were 
taken in the Council on the assurance of personal loyalty to the 
Chief Minister. In all, it was a political blunder on the part of 
the Chief Minister to ignore the claims and underestimate the 
power of the dissidents. 

As a result of this approach of the Chief Minister towards 
the dissidents political atmosphere became uncertain and a spell 
of uneasy balance hung heavily over the Government, Fears 
and doubts were expressed about the stability and smooth running 
of the Ministry. All this could have been easily avoided if amity 
had prevailed between the dissidents and the Chief Minister. It 
was suggested to Bhagwat Dayal to induct Sumitra Devi, sister of 

13. The Hindustan Times, March 5, 1967. 

14. The Times of India, March 11, 1967. 



Birender Singh, in the Ministry so that the latter could have a 
face saving. But Bhagwat Dayal remained adament not even to 
consider any such proposaP. 

Humiliated, frustrated and annoyed by the behaviour of the 
Chief Minister, the dissidents realised that they had no future in 
the Congress fold. The only alternative left for them was to take to 
some other course, if they were really serious for having a share 
in the power-structure. The dissidents organised themselves and 

•'hatched a conspiracy to give a show down to the Chief Minister 
on the occasion of the election of the Speaker of the Legislative 
Assembly. Bhagwat Dayal did not know of this and the Ministry 
met a surprising defeat on March 17 when its nominee for 
Speakership, Daya Kishan lost to Birender Singh by 40 votes to 
37^®. The dissidents did not stop there only. They at once left 
Congress and formed a new party named ‘Haryana Congress’. 
At this juncture the Independents also organised themselves. 
They too formed their own party — ‘Navin Haryana Party’, Jo 
make the best out of the new situation, both these newly formed 
parties entered into an alliance. Subsequently, they took other 
groups and parties in the Assembly to forge a United Front with 
Birender Singh as its leader^’. 

These developments annoyed Bhagwat Dayal beyond 
description. He at once rushed to Delhi to consult the Central 
leadership. In the meantime, the United Front ‘purchased’ 
Hardwari Lai, number two in the Cabinet. Hardwari Lai 
played an unclean game. He told his colleagues in the Cabinet 
that he had telephonic instruction from Bhagwat Dayal to get 
resignation letters from all the members of the Council of 
Ministers as it would strengthen his position. On the other hand, 
when Bhagwat Dayal enquired abjut the political situation in the 
capital, tlardwari Lai told him that all the ministers had resigned 
and they had no confidence in his leadership. He also advised 
Bhagwat Dayal Sharma to return to Chandigarh and to resign 

15. It was a rumour in the pDlitical circles at that time, that Hardwari Lai 
advised Bliagvvat Dayal not to give any consideration to Rao as there was 
no danger from him. Later on, Bhagwat Dayal himself admitted it in a 
numberof public meetings, 

16. The Tribune, March 18, 1967. 

17. The other prominent leaders were: Devi Lai, Shri Cliand, Mul Chetnd 

Pratap Sin§h Daulta and Chand 



gracefully. The Congress High Command not feeling satisfied with 
the Chief Minister for his past behavioui held him responsible for 
the bad situation, and advised him to submit his resignation^*, and 
to adopt a policy of watch and wait. Having lost on all sides, 
Bhagwat Dayal submitted his resignation to the Governor, B.N. 
Chakravarty, who accepted it and thus came to an end the 142- 
day rule of Bhagwat Dayal Sharma. 

The events in Haryana had a far reaching impact on national 
political milieu. 'Going the Haryana way*, the Congress 
ministries in diiferent Stales fell like a house of cards. Comment- 
ing on the new situation, the Patriot wrote in its editorial 

The truth now established in Haryana is universally applicable 
wherever the Congress is in office. Twenty years of pomp and 
comfort have made a whole generation of Congress leaders 
insensitive and immobile even in the face of total crisis. Haryana 
is not merely a warning it is proof that the Congress in its present 
shape cannot exist. The central leadership of the Congress 
Party was helpless as it was a house divided against itself. They 
failed to realise the danger and could not stop this process 
^f downfall which later on plagued the other States too. 

The Hindu Commented on the situation : 'Knowing full 
well that caste was a potent force in the body-politics of Haryana, 
the Brahmin leader brought to bear excessive self confidence in 
the task of picking up his team of ministers: he sought to vanquish 
by one decisive stroke his potential rivals belonging to the 
remaining three dominant castes in the State, viz. Ahirs, Jats 
and Harijans, by keeping them all and their adherents out of 
the cabinet. They on their part deftly exploited the caste senti- 
ment and brought about his downfall within a short period of 
two weeks after his unanimous re-election as the leader of a 
party commanding a majority in the Vidhan Sabha^®.** 

The casteism, no doubt, had played a big role In overthrow- 
ing the Bhagwat Dayal ministry. A Jat-Ahir combine ion 
brought about his downfall. But it was Sharma who had 
precipitated this crisis in the politics of the State. His uttrances 
against different castes ; then his highhanded attitude in dealing' 
with leaders of different factions in the party ; and his prideful 
posture in styling himself a disciple of the late Piatap Singh 

18. The Hindustan Times, March 21, 1967. 

19. The Patriot, March 2, 1967. 

70 , The HindUf April 4, 1967, 



Kairon in runjimg the party .machine to suit himself was respon- 
sible for creating this situation. 


A New Experiment 

Haryana became the first State where the Congress Ministry 
was toppled by the Congress men. ^The toppling game started 
by the dissidents-turned-defectors, was to become a pattern for 
bigger States like Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh and the 
old factional politics was soon to be transformed into a fall 
scale politics of defection. In the words of Patriot** : “Haryana 
is no distorted carricature of the internal situation of the 
Congress. It is forewarning of the fate that looms large for the 
juntas that they rule the Congress States and the one that tries 
to look like a government at the Centre. What happened to 
Bhagwat Dayal may happen elsewhere with direr consequences. 
Bhagwat Dayal fought the elections on a simplified caste platform. 
He had assumed that Chand Ram, the Harijan leader could be 
separated from his Harijan following when a direct appeal could 
be addressed by the Chief Minister to support him against the 
Jats. He scrapped through this idea only because several Jat 
leaders accepted Gulzari Lai Nanda’s advice to abide by Cong- 
ress discipline and not to think in terms of caste. The force of 
this advice could not obviously withstand the pressure of dis- 
appointment that overtook Chand Ram and others unceremoniously 
cast away by Bhagwat Dayal when he formed his new government. 
They seized the first opportunity to prove that the Congress is 
no more a political party but a cooperative of opportunist office 
hunters ” 

After the exit of Bhagwat Dayal, Birender Singh was 
invited by the Governor to form the Government. A fifteen 
member Samyukta Vidhayak Dal Council of Ministers was sworn 
in on March 24, 1967. Ministerial positions being mostly shared 
by defectors and the Independents, the Jan Sangh and the 
Swatantra parties preferred to stay out of office (Table VI). 

21 . Kashyap, Subhas, op. cit. p, 164. 
Z2. The Tatrlotf March 21 , 1967, 



Party-wise position in the Council of Ministers in the 
Birender Singh Ministry (March 24, 1967 to November 
21, 1967) : 








of State 














— . 



(Navin Haryana 













Birender Singh started his rule with high sounding promises, 
but what actually happened was only a sordid drama. Chaos 
and confusion reigned supreme. Political unstability and 
corruption became order of the day. All national dailies carried 
sorry details of political behaviour of its legislators and political 
elites. Defections and counter defections became a regular 
phenomena in the political life of the state and made mockery 
of the Parliamentary system the nation had opted for. The 
constitutional experts stroked their heads in dismay, political 
immorality stood exposed as never before. It was felt that perhaps 
the Indian character was not cut out to absorb shocks and 
personal set-backs inbuilt in the parliamentary form of government 
(see table VII), 

It was a challenging task for the soldier-turned-politician to 
keep the ministry on an even keel. Surprisingly, Birender Singh 
got a rude shock from his own party too. Devi Lai and his 
supporters started to rock the boat alarmingly. Though Devi Lai 
was neither a member of the Legislative Assembly nor a minister, 
yet he had a reckonable following in the Assembly at that time. 
When a single member or vote could imbalance the majority, he 
was counted as a strong power. But Birender Singh was more 
than a match for Devi Lai in the art of feint and ambush. He 
surprised him by submitting the resignation of his four-month old 
ministry on July 15, 1967, in order to drop the Devi Lal-group 

Account of defectors 



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who was thwarting his plans from inside. In spite of Devi Lafs 
claims that the United Front Ministry had lost the majority support, 
the Governor invited Birender Singh to form a new government. 
Obviously, the new list did not contain the names of two known 
camp followers of Devi Lal—Deputy Chief Minister Chand Ram 
and Minister of Irrigation and Power Mani Ram Godara. 

But the malaise did not end. Defections and counter- 
defections gained pace. The dexterous Rao attempted to break 
the vicious circle, but it remained only a wishful thinking. Devi 
Lai joined hands with Bhagwat Dayal in a bid to oust the Kao. 
This horse-trading on the part of the political elites added a new 
word in the vocabulary of politics— ‘Aya Rams and Gaya Rams’. 
Incidentally, the new experiment of a coalition government in 
which widely heterogeneous elements had joined hands to form it 
proved a failure. The strange-bed-fellows combined together only 
to launch ‘operation alliance’ and ‘operation topple’ for their 
narrow ends. The administration was paralysed and the develop- 
ment of the S tate came to a halt, the Chief Minister being always 
on a vote-buying spree.^* 

The Governor watched the whole game seriously and 
assessed the situation. He felt that Birender Singh was “as much 
disgusted with the daily defections and change of sides of 
legislators as others were, though he could not help it as far as 
he was concerned because the Congress party was trying to topple 
him and he was trying to beat them at their own game.” Taking 
into consideration the political situation of the State the Governor 
made positive recommendations to the President of India under 
article 356 of the Constitution for the imposition of President’s 
rule in the State. The Governor recommended in his report that 
the people of the state should be given an opportunity through a 
mid-term election to choose once again their rulers and expressed 
the hope that ‘so many opportunist legislators would not be 

Interestingly, when the positive recommendatious were 
made by the Governor for Presidential rule, Birender Singh still had 
the majority support ty (of 40) in the Legislative Assembly having 
78 members at that time. But political instability had made the 

23. T/ie Tribune, July 16, 1967. 

24, The Times of India, November 8, 1967. 

4 # i6i 

life of the people miserable and therefore, ignoring the formal 
niceties, the Governor made his recommendation. He observed 
that the legislators changed their affiliations as frequently as they 
changed their under-clothes, and as such, political stability was a 
mirage. The Governor analysed the political situ^ation with a 
degree of caution. The role of Governor during the Samyukta 
Vidhayak Dal’s rule and in recommending the imposition of 
President’s rule in the State instead of inviting the Congress Party 
to form the Government can be said to be the most democratic 
and worthy of a Constitutional Head. The report of the Governor 
is a fine piece of constitutional document which shows the 
political acumen of the person who prepared it.^® It says : 

“The Opposition (the Congress) could never reconcile itself 
to its position as a responsible Opposition. It must bear some 
responsibility for not having given the Government peace or a 
chance to settle down to constructive work. The Government 
has also sought to maintain itself precariously in power by 
creating too many Ministers which is an abuse of its constitutional 

powers With all its good intentions, the Government cannot 

do much for the people because it is being kept pre-occupied all 

the time with the problem of its very survival Allegations 

have been made by the Opposition that the Ministry is continuing 
in power through corruption, bribery, political victimisation and 
distribution of offices but then the Opposition is also apparently 
securing defections through no better means or through no cleaner 

The people of Haryana, who were fed up with the sordid 
drama of incessant defections, heaved a sigh of relief upon the 
President’s rule imposed on November 21, 1967. Consequently, 
the Assembly was dissolved and the Council of Ministers 
dismissed. Birender Singh went in appeal to the Panjab and 
Haryana High Court against the proclamation of the President, 
the court rejected the petition for want of jurisdiction. 

The determinant factors for failures to topple the Rao 
Ministry are not far to be sought. As discussed earlier, Bhagwat 
Dayal was a nominee of the Congress High Command and not a 

25. The Indian Express^ November 22, 1967. The report is marked, no doubt, 
as secret, but was published in the newspapers and was later placed on the 
table of the both Houses of the Parliament. 


leader by selection or election. In all fairness, he was not a 
leader par excellence vis-a-vis other contestents for tha office*®. In 
Punjab, he was brooded to neutralise the political influence of 
the Jat-political elites in particular and agriculturist-political 
elites in general. Even the prominent Jat leaders like Rizak Ram, 
or Ranbir Singh, who did not leave the Congress Party, did not 
support Bhagwat Dayal in his game of toppling down the Rao 
Ministry. Bhagwat Dayal is said to have alleged that some mem- 
bers of the Pradesh Congress Committee and legislators had covertly 
given their support to Birender Singh in order to keep him away 
from the power structure. 

The Presidential rule brought political stability to the State. 
The administrative machinery was geared up to undo the 
irregularities of the previous regime. The situation normalised 
and the law and order improved soon. On the political side, it 
was restricted to preparations for the forthcoming elections. All 
parties organised themselves properly. An interesting phenomena 
during the period was that all the political parties and elites 
condemned defections irrespective of the fact that even some of 
them had defected more than once. 


Claimants Of Power 

The Congress Party in Haryana was a house divided against 
itself. There were three factions : One led by former Chief 
Minister Bhagwat Dayal, the second faction was under the 
influence of the then Congress President Ram Krishan Gupta, M.P, 
and the third group was led by the stormy Jat leader Devi Lai, 
who considered himself a king maker and an expert in toppling 
down ministries.*’ The Congress High Command, reviewed 
these happenings with deep concern and appointed a seven-man 
advisory Committee on January 28, 1968 including Sharma, Ram 

26. It would be interesting to note that Bhagwat Dayal was elected the President 
of Haryana Pradesh Congress Committee by a margin of one vote. He was 
opposed by the lone Muslim member of the Committee, Abdul Gaffar 
Khan, wlro was sponsored and supported by the group led by Ranbir, Singh 
Devi Lai, Rizak Ram and others. 

27 He is reported to have been taking credit for toppling down 4 ministeries: 
one of Bhim Sen Sachchar, second of Pratap Singh Kairon, third of Bhagwat 
Dayal Sharma and fourth of Birender Sin^. 

Krishan Gupta, Devi Lai and Chand Ram, etc. The Committee 
was assigned the task of selecting candidates for the coming 
elections. After much wranglings the list was finalised. All the 
defectors and faction leaders were kept out of the Congress list.- 
However, theif close relations and followers were given- party 
tickets on their behest. Only 25 candidates- of the dissolved 
fissdmbly got the Congress tickets, while 41 were new and Id were 
defeated Congress candidates in the 1967 election, Bhagwat 
t)^yal, Rizak Ram, Chand Ram ind Ram Krishan Gupta were 
kept out of the contest. 

The Jan Sangh party also followed the Congress in keeping 
the defectors out. They gave tickets to only 8 former members 
of the dissolved assembly, and tried to induct new blood in the 
party. Other parties also behaved almost in the similar vein 
(See table VII). 

f*olitical behaviour of the voters 

the political behaviour of the people is reflected through 
the voting-pattern. But political behaviour is influenced by and 
also function on of a net work of relationships that are social, 
economic, religious, etc., and must, therefore, be understood 
against such a background. The study of the incidence of voting 
as such which is usually undertaken in the conventional sense, is 
the study of merely the expressional part of a voting behaviour 
and not the political behaviour as a whole. What is, therefore, 
to be kept in mind is the motivations which compel the 
Voting behaviour to confine to certain behavioural patterns. 
Therefore, it shall be interesting to analyse the political 
behaviour of the people of Haryana on the basis of their voting 
pattern during the mid-term poll on May 12 and 14, 1968. 

One cannot but agree with Kashyap’'® that ‘*what was 
involved in the mid-term election in Haryana was something of 
much greater significance than a routine trial of strength for the 

control of a tiny seven district (then) State The stakes 

particularly for the Congress were so high that the Central 
leadership threw in all they could... Haryana was the domino — 

Kashyap, Subhas C., cit., p. 




if it fell, neithet U.P. nor West Bengal could possibly be saved. If 
Congress could win in Haryana, there was reason for hope 
elsewhere.’* Haryana had set in the pattern of defections, now it 
could lead the Congress to victory in other States. The Congress 
threw in all weapons it had in its armoury. It put every thing 
at stalce. The Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister, Home 
M’inister and other important leaders of the organisation toured, 
convassed and contacted people to seek and get their vote and 

The Opposition parties also put all their resources in the 
field. They got some sympathy from the public as their position 
was augmented due to the contrast in the resources mobilised by 
it vis-a-vis the Congress. As the Congress did not allow any 
faction leader to contest, and had kept the question of leadership 
undecided, the morale of the Opposition was boosted. They had 
one more point to propagate that the Congress Party even could 
not decide about the future leader of the Legislative Party, it was 
still a divided house and, therefore, was unable to deliver goods 
to the people. Secondly, loyalties in Haryana tend to be more 
candidate-oriented than issue- oriented or party -oriented.*® 

Consequently, the opposition exploited the situation to their 
full advantage. The Vishal Haryana Party got the maximum benefit 
out of this situation. (See Table VIII).The Party fielded 29 candi- 
dates, wrested 13 seats and 14.86% voles, the Jan Sangh came to 
second position getting 10.45% votes and 7 seats (16.6%) out of 42 
it contested. Thus it did not fair well in comparison to the Vishal 
Haryana Party, and its own performance in 1967 when it contested 
48 seats and got 12 seats (25%) and 14.39% votes. The reason 
for low vote percentage turned out in favour of the Jan Sangh 
was due to its role in supporting the defectors’ government. 

The Swatantra Party contested 32 seats (12 in 1967) and was 
successful in only 2 (3 in 1967) constituencies with 8.18% votes, 
the Republican Party got 1 (2 in 1967) out of 14 seats (24 in 1967) 
it contested and secured only 1.60% votes. The voters did not 
show much fervent for the Independents, who got 9 seats in 
comparison to 16 in 1967, though they got 17.11% votes— only 
second to the Congress Party. Incidentally, the numberical 

29. Sinha, B.B., ‘The Fourth General Election in Haryana*, Varma, §.P. and 
Iqba! Narai% Fourf/f General Flection in India^ New Delhi, 1968, p. 205, 





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Report on the Mid-Term General Elections in India 1958-69, Election Commission, India, 
1970, pp. 6-9. 


strength of the Congress seats remained static at 48 (59.25%). The 
voting-pattern of the voters in Haryana once again exhibited that 
they had no leanings towards Left Parties, the landed-aristocracy 
having its full impact on the political-behaviour of the voters. 
The caste-feelings were as high as it could be almost in every 
constituency. Every party had selected its candidates on the basis 
of dominant-caste®® in the constituency. ■ 

The district-wise performance of the political parties shows 
the political preferences of the voters in different areas (See 
Table IX). Although, the performance of the Congress cannot 
be said to be very satisfactory, but some how it was able to main- 
tain its previous position due to its majority support particularly in 
Ambala, Karnal and Hissar districts where it won 7, 9 and 11 seats 
out of 9, 15 and 17 constituencies respectively. It got a set-back 
from VHP which wrested 4 seats in Mahender Garh, 5 in Gurgaon 
and 3 each in Rohtak and Hissar districts. Birender Singh emer- 
ged as a leader of the southern Haryana where he got a large 
following in Yadavas in particular and agriculturists in general. 
The frustrated and neglected southern part felt personified through 
him when he became the Chief Minister of Haryana. He tried to 
eulogize himself as the traditional leader of the Yadavas. He con- 
tested from two constituencies — Jatusana and Ateli simultaneously 
and got elected from both places, defeating two Nihal Singhs 
from these constituencies. The Yadav-voters of Ateli were 
particularly against Nihal Singh, the former Education Minister, 
as he did not defect’ with Birender Singh and remained in 
Congress. The VHP drew blank in Ambala and Karnal districts, 
It got only I seat in Jind district, which it contested. In all, 12 
of its candidates forfieted their security deposits. 

The Jan Sangh fielded its candidates in every district, 
maximum (10) in Karnal and minimum (1) in Jind. But it was in 
Rohtak district, that it won the maximum (3) seats. It did not 
bag any seat in Jind, Gurgaon, Mahender Garh and Hissar. In 
Ambala and Karnal, its performance could not be said to be 
satisfactory where it won 2 seats in each district. The CPI did 
not put any candidate in Ambala, Rohtak, Jind and Mahender 

30. J.R, Siwach has defined the one-caste dominant constituency as ‘one where 
a sizeable number of voters (about 30% or above) belongs to one caste. See, 
his article ‘Elections and Caste Politics of Haryana’, J5.SSG',, Vol. YU, 
No. 2, p. 103. 














































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Source : Election Commission of India, 1968-69, op, cit,, pp. 100-101. 

4 # 170 

Garh districts, and in the other districts its maximum poll did 
not cross 0.70% of votes (in district Gurgaon). The lone CPM 
candidate who contested, and lost, in Karnal district only, he got 
3,632 (0.73% votes), the SSP got 4,775 (3.22%) votes in Jind, 
6,908 (3.86%) in Mahender Garh and 12,253 (2.26%) in Hissar 
districts. The PSP was no better than SSP-it contested one seat 
inAmbalaand got 367 (0.15%) only, while in district Hissar it 
got 1,434 (0.26) votes in one constituency (for details, see Tables 
IX and X). t 

The voting turn-out was 57.2% — a fall of about 15% in com- 
parison to 72.65% voter-participation in 1967. Non-voting can be 
delineatly analysed in contextual dimension of the politics in 
the State. Though no single factor can be taken solely explanatory 
for non-participation, yet lack of political socialization was a 
pertinent point for non- voting in Haryana. Subhas C. Kashyap 
ignores this factor when he enlists the causes for less voter- 
participation due to (i) the extremely inhospitable weather of 
the summer month, and (ii) the pressure of the harvesting time®^ 

The decline in the votes polled by Independents in quantity 
and percentage was a sure sign of institutionalisation of the 
voter-participants. Interestingly, out of the 64 sitting Members 
who contested, only 20 (31.25%) emerged victorious-44(68.75%) 
being rejected by the voters. Once again the Caste emerged as one 
of the important determinant variable factor in the politics of the 
State. Local factionalism was also determinant of voting behavi- 
our, but there were no ‘vote-banks’ in this election — the voters 
being ‘candidate-oriented’. 


Choice Of Leader 

As part of its overall strategy, the High Command gave no 
indication, either before or during the poll, of its choice of the 
leader of the Congress Legislature Parly. There were many aspi- 
rants in the field for the post: the prominent among them being 
Bhagwat Dayal Sharma, Om Prabha Jain, Ram Krishan Gupta, 
Ranbir Singh, Brigadier Ran Singh and Devi Lai. Even the then 
Union Minister of State, Sher Singh was said to be in the run for 

31, Ksahyap, Subhas C., op, cit.t p. 186 


the ofiSce of the Chief Ministership. The name of Home Minister 
Gulzari Lai Nanda was also being mentioned in some quarters. 
But the Congress High Command was in search of a dynamic 
person free from, reservations and prejudices and having a clean 
past who could have been acceptable to all factions in the Party, 
There was a good deal of suspense and melodrama in the party 
circles. But then Bhagwat Dayal again came in and insisted 
that the legislature party should be given a free-hand in electing 
its leader.®* This was accepted by the High Command. 

The meeting for formal selection of leader was held at Gul- 
zari Lai Nanda’s house in New Delhi in which 32 out of 
48 Congress legislators participated.®® It was alleged that majority 
of these Congress legislators wanted Bhagwat Dayal as their 
leader. But the Congress High Command was against Bhagwat 
Dayal being chosen as the Party leader because of his past activities 
which not only annoyed Smt. Gandhi, but also was responsible 
for political defections in the State. In fact, his claim for the 
office was struck down when he was refused party ticket to con- 
test the mid term election. Others came in like wise. The Jat 
leadership, as also the members, in particular, were against 
Sharma being chosen as the leader of the party, 
Ranbir Singh, a prominent Jat leader having a following of 16 
members, openly challenged Bhagwat Dayal and staked his claim 
to leadership on the plea that he was the oldest Congressman in 
the legislature party. Obiviously, Bhagwat Dayal did not Uke 
Ranbir Singh to be the leader. These happenings made the Cong- 
ress High Command perturbed and it at once decided to intervene. 
Finally, it decided in favour of an unassuming, non-controversial, 
Bansi Lai. Obviously, the alternative left to the party was to 
‘own’ the choice of the High Command. Gulzari Lai Nanda and 
Sher Singh too, were in favour of such a selection. All these 
factors contributed to the selection of Bansi Lai, an MLA from 
Tosham, who had been an active worker of the party and a mem- 
ber of the Rajya Sabha from 1960 to 1966. The Legislature Party 
meet in New Delhi on May 19, 1968 and unanimously elected 
Bansi Lai as its leader.®* 

32. The Times of iTidia, May, 16,1968. 

33. Obviously, Ranbir Singh and his supporters were not present there. 

34. The choice was objected to by Ranbir Singh, who felt being ignored in 
the choice over and above his own claim. However, these faint voices of 
disagreement were finally silenced. 


A State, with warring factions in. the party organisation, 
notorious for defections and counter- Refections, toppling of minis^ 
teries and handicapped of economic resources was a challenge 
for the new Chief Minister. Every, body wondered whether an 
untrained high spirited youth of 41 with practically no -ejcperi- 
,ence of administration would be able to pull the State out of 
political instability atid economic backwardness. His simplicity^ 
however, impelled many to think that his selection was just a 
stop-gap. But the coming events proved the fallacy of their 

The first session of the Third Assembly of Haryana began 
on July 15, 1968 with the election of its Speaker. Often in Indian 
Legislatures, the trial of strength is made between the governmen- 
tal party and the opposition at the time of the election of its 
presiding officer. A person whose task is so difflucult to car/y 
out his duties remaining neutral of power politics is made all 
the more difficult by making the office an arena, for trial of 
political strength. The governmental party rarely consult the 
opposition parties in selection of the candidates for the office 
of the . Speaker, while the opposition parties, knowing their 
strength well, do contest the office and make the Speaker the 
choice of the Government and not of the House. ‘ If some of 
the Speakers adopt a partisan attitude in fulfilment of their duties 
of the office, they should not be blamed for obliging the organi-j 
sation or persons who put them in office. 

Thinking that the drama of last year might be repeated 
again, the Opposition put Balwant Rai Tayal to contest the 
office of the Speaker against Brigadier Ran Singh.®® The latter 
won by securing 50 votes to 27. This was the first trial of strength 
in which Bans! Lai emerged victorious. Not only that, he 
also got the support of 3 non-congressmen®® for his canRidate.. 

But the political vortex was yet to make its appearance in' 
full. New dissensions flared up in the Pradesh Congress com- 
mittee. In fact, late Governor Birender Narayan Chakarvarti 
had very aptly analysed the (political) human nature , jn his 

35. The Statesman, July 16, 1968 

35, Ckanda Singh, Tshwar Singh and Hem Raj (all Independents). 


report submitted to the President in November 1967*^ when he 
said that once any legislator had tested power and seen that by 
treating to defect he could get what he wanted, he would not 
remain without power — -the first and perennial pursuit of, a 
politician. Taking Bansi Lai as a novice in the field. Bhagwat 
Dayal tried to assert himself in the decision-making process, 
which the former did not relish. The Chief Minister, in fact, 
wanted to rejuvenate the administration by giving free hapd to 
fhe services so that they might prove their capability. He did 
not want to give them any excuse to complain that there is Undue 
interference in the day to day administration by outsiders. He 
intended to give the State a clean administration. This annoyed 
the egotistic careerists who led Haryana to the point of complete 
breakdown a year ago and lay low far sometime after Bansi Lai 
assumed power, but they became restive when it became apparent 
that conditions were slowly being created in which their brand of 
politicking would provoke universal hostility. Unless they quickly 
queered the pitch by means fair or foul, they stood little chance 
of having turn to bat again.®’ 

The central figure of the fresh intra party squable was no 
other than the former Chief Minister Bhagwat Dayal, who puhlL 
cly claimed Bansi Lai as his own man. When he failed to get 
his onco charished hope fulfilled, he aspired for the second, that 
rs, the Presidentship of the Pradesh Congress. The then 
Congress President Ram Krishan Gupta was considered to be 
the right hand man of Bhagwat Dayal, but he was not ready to 
make room for the latter, Even, much against the wfshes of the 
majority of the members of the HPCC and Congress legislators, 
Bansi Lai got Bhagwat Dayal elected as the member of the 
Rajya Sabha in August 1968. But nothing less than HPCC 
Presidentship could satiate Bhagwat Dayal who exposed himself- 
by that time through his activities. His presumption was that 
Bansi Lai would make him the President of the HPCC as he 
had made ‘sacrifice* for Bansi Lai in his election of the Chief 
Ministership, As the majority was not in favour bfSharma, 
Bansi Lai behaved in most democratic way by respecting the 
wishes of the members of the HPCC in conceding them to elect 

^1, Muni Lai, Op. cit.^ p. 71 


the President. However, election could not be held due to stay 
order from the court. In the meantime, the Congress President 
suspended Shartna for his antiparty activities, sabotaging the 
election of Congress members, irregularities in the accounts 
amounting to five lakh Of rupees, etc. However, the Congress 
.High Command came to Sharma’s rescue once more, and stopped 
the execution of the suspension. On the other hand, the Sharma 
group got a case of embezzlement registered against Ram Krishan 
Gupta. Not only that Bhagwat Dayal alleged that the HPCC 
president took such steps on the advice of the Chief Minister. 
Since Bansi Lai refused to be the protege of Bhagwat Dayal the 
conflict between the two became so sharp that Bhagwat Dayal 
launched a direct attack against the Chief Minister. Apart from 
running a campaign against the Ministry he sought to create 
a major crisis when on September 17, four of his supporters 
Mahabir Singh Yadav, Ran Singh, Khurshid Ahmed and Ram 
Dhari Yaur, all cabinet ministers complained of Chief Minister’s 
‘rude’ behaviour and the victimisation of the followers of 
Bhagwat DayaP®. In protest they submitted their resignation 
letters to the Chief Minister and informed the Congress President 
of the development, but Khurshid Ahmed withdrew his resigna- 
tion within no time. 

The Chief Minister appraised Shrimati Gandhi of his doubts 
and fears. With Bhagwat Dayal in control of party affairs, it 
would be impossible to keep intact for long the homogeneity 
of his Government, political stability could be maintained only 
if the head of the government and head of the party were not 
pulling in opposite directions. He emphasized that his programme 
of development would suffer a serious setback if the old game, 
of defections was to begin all over again. Shrimati , Gandhi 
appreciated the stand of the Chief Minister and , authorised, 
him to deal with the situation in his own way. The Chief 
Minister stnick back. ^ 

The resignations of all the other three ministers were 
accepted. Moreover, the Central Parliamentary Board decided, 
on the advice of the Chief Minister, to give a free hand to the 
members of the HPCC to elect its President®*. This shocked 

38, The Hindustan THmes, September 19, 1968. 
39, The Times of India^ November 7, 1968 

Sharma, but worst was yet to come for him. Misjudging their 
power, his supporters put three demands : (1) unanimous election 
of Sharma as HPCC President, (ii) taking the three ministers 
back, and (iii) sacking Khurshid Ahmed from the cabinet^®. These 
demands were outrightly rejected by the Chief Minister. He 
also denied having made any commitment regarding any parti- 
cular person being offered any office. 

The Sharma group changed its stand later on. One of 
the spokesman of the group said that ‘the dissidents no more 
wanted organisational elections to be held. Instead they wanted 
on ad hoc Committee... The second demand of the dissidents was 
that the three ministers should be taken back into the Cabinet, 
the dissidents would not press for the dismissal of Health 
Minister, Khurshid Ahmed. If they want to have such a man 
in the cabinet, let them have him’^^. 

By December 4, it became clear that Sharma group was 
preparing to stage a final show-down. Birender Singh Rao, 
the former Chief Minister was ‘jubilant* over these developments. 
The opposition insisted on Bhagwat Dayal Sharma to bring with 
him at least 20 legislators so that a viable government could 
be formed^*. The Rao remarked, “we have once toppled a Congress 
government, we can repeat that performance. But one cannot 
say it we will do that in the near future**®. However, defections 
and toppling of ministery was not a thing of past for him. Later 
on, he is confessed to have said that it would have been to his 
benefit in either case— toppling of Congress ministry or defeat of 
Bhagawat Dayal. The Statesman lamented over the political 
developments in the State and the role of political elites : “The 
country is unlikely to be inconsolable if the Congress Government 
of Haryana once again collapses because of internal dissensions. 
But the implicit deterioration in political life cannot but be a 
source of concern.**” The Assam Tribune wrote : “Haryana has 
made history, but not one of which the people of that State 
could be proud.*’*® 

40. The Hindustan Times ^ November 7, 1968. 

41. r/re November 12, 1968 

42. The Statesman, December 5, 1968 

43. Ibid, 

44. Ibid,, (Editorial), December 7, 1976. 

54. The Assam Tribune, December 11, 1968 

1 % 


Having realised that they could not break through into the 
top ranks and thus had no future in the organisation, the dissi- 
dents gave a 24-hour ultinaatum to the Congress High Command 
and threatened to quit the party if the demands were not 
accepted.^® Their demands were : 

(i) fixation of a date to hold a meeting of the legislature 
party with permission to the dissidents to move a vote 
of no-confidence against the Chief Minister, and 
(ii) dismissal of Khurshid Ahmed from the cabinet.*^ 

Since their demands were not accepted, 15 Congress MLAs— 
4 short of earlier number — alongwith Bhagwat Dayal defected 
from the Congress Party on December 8 and joined the oppo- 
sition.^® The Congress High Command decided to take a strong 
step this time, although Morarji Desai tried to save Bhagwat 
Dayal but in vain. Y.B. Chavan and Nijalingappa vehemently 
criticised the conduct of Bhagwat Dayal. They were of the 
view that nothing short of expulsion of Bhagwat Dayal from 
Congress was adequate. Consequently, he was suspended from the 
party on December 9, 1968.^® After this, the Samyukta Vidhayak 
Dal was formed and Sharma was elected its leader. The happiest 
of all was Birender Singh whose S.V.D. Government had been 
overthrown a little over a year ago due to Sharma’s elforts. Now 
the two rivals joined hands together to topple down the government 
of a third common rival. 

Commenting on the political situation and role of the 

elites as actors in this drama, the Statesman wrote 

obviously the politicians of Haryana have learnt and unlearnt 
nothing for what is happening in the State is a repetition of 
the dismal drama of 22 months ago. Even the actors in the 
power-play are the same ; only in a few cases there has been an 
amusing reversal of roles. In March 1967, it was the Congress 
Government of Bhagwat Dayal which was brought down by a 
hand of determined defectors headed by Birender Singh who 
was later to become the Chief Minister with a record of number 

46. The Tribune, December 8, 1968. 

47. Ibid, 

48. The Times of India, December 9, 1953. 

49. The Statesman, December 10, 1968. 

50. Ibid. 

The political scene in haryana 

of cabinet expansions to his credit. This time Sharma has 
taken the lead to topple a Congress Government, and the JRao 
has not only joined a united front with Sharma as its leader 
but also publicly hailed him as Haryana "Chanakya*.’’ 

The move was condem ned by the Hindustan Times. 

It wrote that “ .The Congress revolt in Haryana is 

clearly inspired by personal rather than policy consideration. 
Even Sharma is unable to claim higher respectability for it.’*®^ 
The Hindu described Bhagwat Dayal Sharma as the ‘malaise in 
the body politic of the Congress Party in Haryana”®^. 

The undaunted Chief Minister hoped that ‘the crisis will 
blow over and good sense will prevail on the party’s dissident 
legislators and they will not take the extreme step of leaving 
the Congress’®®. But the appeal went unheard. He decided to 
take a bold decision and apprised the Congress High Command 
of the development. The latter allowed him to expand the 
ministry and not to resign till it was proved beyond doubt that 
he had lost the majority in the Assembly®^. The Chief Minister, 
in the meantime, met the Governor and gave him some 
facts. He was sure that he had still a majority support and the 
dissidents would stage a come back. He said he could take no 
cognisance of the reported defections from his party as nothing 
had been communicated to him formally. He asked the opposi- 
tion to substantiate their claim of majority on the floor of the 
House which was due to meet in about six weeks’ time. The 
question was also echoed in Parliament, The Speaker of Lok 
Sabha, Sanjiva N. Reddy, recalled the decision of the Speakers’ 
Conference that the floor of the Assembly was the proper place 
to decide the majority of Government. 

A day later, the Chief Minister met the Governor and 
produced deflnite and ‘convincing documentary evidence* to 
establish his claim that the Congress Party still enjoyed a majority 
in the House. The Governor announced to the press on Decem- 
ber 12 that “in the changed circumstances now’ he did not see 

51. . The Hindustan TlmeS) December 9, 1968 

52. 77ie December 10, 1968 

53. The Tribtiney December 8, 1968. 

54. The Hindustan Times, December 10, 1968 

M 178 

any reason to think that the Chief Minister 'may have lost his 
majority’. He told the newsmen that the Chief Minister 'still 
seems to have the support of 42 members, including six Indepen- 
dents i-i the 81-inember Vidhan Sabha, in /Which one seat is 

In political manoeuvring, Bansi Lai proved more than a 
match for the combined experience and resources of the two 
former Chief Ministers of the State — Bhagwat Dayal and Birender 
Singh. He foiled the game of his political opponents. In the 
mean time, five Independents and a lone Swatantra member 
affirmed their unqualified support to the Ministry. Realising 
their mistake, 6 dissidents - Ran Singh, Jagdish Chander and Om 
Prakash Garg (Karnal District), Neki Ram (Jind), Roop Lai 
Mehta (Gurgaon) and Maru Singh Malik (Rohtak)-^came back to 
the Congress fold on December 11, 1968.®® Later on, most of 
the dissidents deserted Bhagwat Dayal Sharma, as he failed to 
topple down the ministry, and returned back to the Congress 
party. Some Independents also defected to the Congress Party.- 
And thus Bansi Lai consolidated his position in the politics of 
a State which had become notorious for defections. He not only 
survived the attempt to dislodge him from power ; he also saved 
Haryana from a stalemate which might have serious repurcussions 
on the developmental programme of the State. 

On January 2, 1969, Ram Saran Chand Mittal was elected 
the HPCC President unoppesod, being the choice of the Congress 
High. Command. The Chief Minister was also permitted to 
expand the minstry. Thus strenghthen, and taking the compulsions 
of politics into consideration, he decided to have more ministers'. 
Ran Singh, the Harijan member, was taken back into the Council 
of Ministers on March 6, 1969. Up to July 21, Jaswant Singh 
Chauhan, Piara Singh, Ram Prakash and Govardban Das were 
sworn in as Parliamentary Secretaries. The number of members 
of Council of Ministers rose to 19 on April 9, 1970 when 10 more^ 
Cabinet Ministers were appointed®^ 

But the political crisis was not yet over. The Chief Minister 
was committed to complete development works, while all 

55. The Tribune, December 13, 1968. 

56. The Times of India, December 12, 1968. 

57. Ibid., April 10, 1970. 


types of hurdles were being put in his way. The press had a 
hostile attitude. The members wanted a share in the power. 
He was fighting on all sides. He added one more member to 
his team to make it more cohesive : Shrimati Sharda Rani from 
Gurgaon was appointed Chief parliamentary Secretary on January 
othej Parljlamentry Secretaries being -promoted as Deputy 

But the things did not seem coming to a happy end, the 
Ministry was not out of the woods — Bhagwat Dayal combined his 
mite with all the opposition leaders to dislodge the ministry. 
The opposition had only one aim and programme before itself : to 
topple down the government by fair or foul means. Having failed 
to cut much ice in the Congress rank and file, Bhagwat Dayal forme 
a new political party called the ‘Hariyana Kishan Mazadoor party’ 
Addressing the first conference of the party on May 26, 1969, he 
declared that he would “topple down the ministry very soon as it 
.was a corrupt ministry.^? But he was dissillusioned soon. A trial 
of strength took place on August 12, 1969 between the SVD and 
^ Government on a motion of no-confidence moved by Kishao 
Mazdoor Party leader Roop Lai Mehta. The motion was defea-' 
ted by 42 votes to 36 after a debate of six hours in the Assembly. 
Pksdlusioned by the developments in the political circles, 
jBh the leadership of the S.V.D. on 
Auinst U, 1969- Oh August 14, a censure motion against the 
Minister, Rhurshid Ahmed was also rejected by a voice 
vpte in the Assembly. 

Having failed to topple down the Ministry through defections, 
Uie opposition parties resorted to other methods to bring it 
dpwn, A memorandum against the Chief Minister was submitted 
to the President of India for appointment of a Commission of 
Inquiry to probe the corruption charges. The Chief Minister, in 
his 175-page reply repudiated the charges as “false, frivilous and 
baseless” inasmuch as political life in the State had never been as 
clean as it had been under his government. These charges were 
repeated by the Opposition several times in vain. Every thing 
did not go well either within the ruling party. There was 

58, The Tribune, January 2, 1971. 
^9. 75/^/., May 27, 1969, 

a flare up—two of its members demanded a change of leadership. 
On July 13, 1970, in a press conference, Ranbir Singh and 
Shrimati Chandravati— both of Congress (R) alleged of the rude 
behaviour®® of the Chief Minister. But even they failed to 
move grounds. 

The Chief Minister had stabilised his government in the 
face of all these political waverings and vortexes. The old game 
of defections and counter-defections, started by Bhagwat Dayal 
ended in favour of the ruling party when some of the dissidents 
returned to the Congress fold, while some others were elected 
in the bye-elections and some others defected to join the ruling 
party because of the Chief Minister’s success in developmental 
policies and plan achievements. The State had the politics of 
stability with development instead of defectionalism. 

There was one more crisis awaiting the fate of Haryana. 
The question of Chandigarh was revived by the interested parties 
and those who could hope to make political capital out of it. 
The Prime Minister's arbitration in the matter and award 
of Chandigarh to Punjab flared up the situation once more. 
The sentiments of the people were aroused by the opposition. 
Demonstrations were held and the police had to lathi charge and 
even to open fire to dispurse the rowdy crowds. The government 
skilfully handled the situation, although it took some time to 
return the normalcy. The award was more than compensation 
for Haryana. The Prime Minister’s decision, by virtue of 
which Chandigarh was awarded to Punjab, allowed a period of 
five years to Haryana to build its own capital for which the 
Centre would give a grant of Rs. 10 crores and in addition a 
loan of a like amount. The Central award also provided that 
the fertile cotton*growing belt of Fazilka and Abohar tahsils of 
Ferozepur district of Punjab would be annexed to Haryana. It 
goes to the Chief Minister’s credit that Haryana got an asset in- 
stead of a liability (Chandigarh). The Opposition— consisting of 
the Syndicate, the V.H P. and the Jan Sangh — was hoping against 
hope that the Centre's decision on Chandigarh would herald a 
new area of instability. But nothing of that sort actually 

60, The Tribune^ July 13, 1970, 


Process Of Polarization 

The year of 1969 W£is crucial for the Indian National 'Congress 
The party bosses, it seemed, had not reconciled their position 
with the Prime Minister who was not coming to their thinking. 
•In fact, the progressive policies of ‘ the Prime* Minister, Smt. 
Indira Gandhi annoyed the Right Wing reactionaries in the set 
up, A plot was hatched to get rid of her leadership. The 
untimely death of former president Zakir Hussain provided them 
an opportunity. The Congress Syndicate selected Sanjiva Reddy, 
the Speaker of the Lok Sabha, to be the Congress candidate for 
the Presidency much against the wishes of Shrimati Gandhi, 
who was in a minority in the Congress Working Committee, 
She was of the view that the candidate of the Party must have 
the backing of the. Leader of the Party, otherwise things might 
not go well in the working of the polity. But the CWC would 
not listen to this argument. The rank and file in the party too, 
did not like the idea of bypassing its leader. They demanded 
the right to vote according to their conscience. A political 
crises came to surface in the party. In fact, it was a struggle 
between two opposite ideologies in the party - Status puoists 
and the progressives— -the latter being represented by the Prime 

* The ideological struggle had its impact on all India-basis. 
jMotfe and more members ^ of Parliament, States Legislatures an4 
party organisation demanded the right to vote according to the 
dictates of their conscience, In the meantime, the acting Presi- 
dent V.V. Giri resigned to contest the election for the President, 

Ram Saran Chand Mittal (HPCC President) declared that 
the Haryana Congress would support the Party candidate Sanjiva 
Reddy, But the Chief Minister foresaw the outcome and declared 
to support the Prime Minister in the struggle and vote for the 
Independent candidate V.V, Giri. Soon, the Pradesh Chief, 
Ram Saran Chand Mittal also affirmed the line taken by the 
Chief Minister. Thus Haryana was one of the States to suppprt 
Shrimati Gandhi in thq controversy of the Presidential Election. 
The process of bifurcation of the Congress Party was completed 
after Giri won the election. Haryana was with Shrimati Gandhi., 
political analysts were of the hope that this would polarize 



the Indian political parties and it would be a boon in disguise. 
But their.hopes were belied soon. However^ many of the members, 
who had left the Congress returned to it— either to the. Ruling 
Congress or to the old Congress, as they were termed.. 

The goverment of Shrimati Gandhi was reduced to a minor- 
ity. She had to depend on the support of the Communist Party 
of India, the Muslim League and the D.M.K. The minority 
government could not adopt radical programmes, though it was 
free from the internal faptionalism at that time. Smt. Gandhi 
took, a bold step when she got the Lok Sabha dissolved on 
December 27, 1970 and decided to take a people’s mandate. 

A ‘grand Alliance’ was forged among all the major opposi- 
tion parties against the Congress(R)and its allies,— CPI and DMK. 
.Of course, it was not a polarization of political parties or 
ideologies, but a marriage of convenience without any economic 
programme. Its main aim was reflected in its negative approach 
in its slogan— ‘Tndira Hatao” (Remove Indira Gandhi). But she 
was contesting with a solid economic programme, which also 
.can be described in one line— ‘G^ribi hatao' (Remove poverty). 
This was the first general election of the Indian democracy which 
was being fought on ‘issues’ and not on personalities. Shrimati 
Gandhi had not shown any ‘chrisma’ during her regime. All 
her efforts such as, to scrap privy purses, nationlisation of banks, 
etc., had ended in a failure. There seemed to be one thing on 
her side— there was no such person in the opposite camp who 
could be a better Prime Minister than her. But it was not 
enough, people Were doubtful about the ambitious economic 
programme envisaged by her.' 


Pat^n of contest in 1971 Lok Sabha Mlections 

No. of seMs contested by 


5 6 7 8 9 




1112 1 


Source : Election Commission of India, 1973 (unpublished data), 
; ; . bio/ of seets conic^e^ 9* Total Candidates 

Party- wise ormanee ia 1971: Lc^ Sabha Elections 


^ i-T 

t; -o a „ o 

« 1 ^ I - 

o ^ g g o 

O W Q M<s >Pm5? ► 

g- I I 


33,108 274,091 17,577 3,108 2?4JQl . 2422.538 

(1.11) (9j;6) 1^.39) eM0> (9.84) (100) 

Source : Election Commission of Indi% 1973 (HtepobSsfcd data). 

Voting-behaYiour in the State in 1971 Lok Sabha Elections 


f , 

00 ^ ^ ^ 7X 

rr O ig 00 fCJ 

^ ^ 

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Name of 

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I I I 

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-< P.’^ 


s CM ^ 

s-^ cs 



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VO ^ 

w — Winning candidate 

Source : Election Commission of India, 1975 (anpublished data). 


But the results were startling, not only for the Opposition 
but also for the Congress (R). In Haryana, the Chief Minister, 
who had stabilised his position by that time, inspired confidence 
in the people to support and vote for the Prime Minister and her 
party. As a result of this, the Congress bagged 7 seats out of 9 
in the State. Only two seats were conceded to the Opposition- 
the Rohtak seat to the Jan Sangh and the Mahender Garh seat 
to the Vishal Haryana Party (See Table XI-XII). The. latter 
was contested and won by the former Chief Minister Bifender 
Singh defeating the Congress candidate Nihal Singh just by a 
small margin of 1899 votes, and that too due to cross-voting. 
Incidentally, the Haryana political scene also became all thte 
more smooth for the Chief Minister by the shifting of tw6 
opposition leaders, Birender Singh and Mukhtiar Singh, from 
Chandigarh to Delhi. 

Voting Behaviour 

The result of the poll (1971) was an indication of the end of 
anti-Congressism in the State when the Congress secured majori- 
ties .in 61 of the 81 assembly Constituencies (see Table XIII). 
It secured majorities in all the 17 Assembly Constituencies of 
Hissar and all the nine of Ambala as against the eleven and 
seven seats it won in the 1968 assembly elections in the two 
districts. In Rohtak and Karnal, the Party got majorities in 
the twelve out of the 15 and 12 out of the 16 constituencies 
respectively, compared to the 9 won by it in each of the two 
districts. Out of the 3 Assembly seats it had won in Jind 
district in 1968, the Congress could get only majority of votes 
in one Assembly constituency conceding the remaining two to 
the Opposition. In Mahender Garh, it got majority in 3 out of 
5 and 2 out of remaining 4 constituencies of district Gurgaon. 
in the last named district, it got majority in 6 out of 9 constitu- 

The people of Haryana, as usual, showed no consideration 
for the Left or even for the Socialists. Castes, personalities, 
personal influences, regional developmental results, etc., were the 
main factors which contributed in determining the voting- 
‘ participation. The names of Shrimati Indira Gandhi and Bansi Lai 
had much effect, particularly in backward people. The political 
stability was one more important factor to influence the voting- 
behaviour of the people. 

. \ studies in histqry and politics ^ 

^ / It seemed, th^t t^e p:QQple . qf Haryaaa could not do full 
justice with the,, defectors and in chopsing some. others to be tne 
members of the Assembly in |968. ^ As the question of leadership 
wa| freezedat the, time of election, intra party squables could 
pot be solved. Besides that, Haryana people required the 
liprnessing of democratic," Instinct and strengthening of democratic 
movement atTher grassroots' level. "Haryana’s chronic political 
Instability was ‘dUe to its small size.' The leadership resembled 
local chiefs. In the State, from district leadership to statewide 
fame is but a small step. And popularity leads to ambition. 
There was an apt thinking on the part of the members ; “If even 
‘A’ can be Chief Minister (or Minister), why cannot I”. Lack 
of political traditions was one more factor responsible for 
the malaise. In the transition period, the Chief Minister and 
his supporters undoubtedly had to make compromises and to 
strike a balance between concrete implementation of the radical 
programme and political realiries in the State. So much so thal 
‘every second MLA held a well paid public office, several of 
the Ministers were defectors while some got it for having 
threatened to defect. Though the elections of Birender Singh and 
Mulchtiar Singh, no doubt, proved a boon in disguise, yet the 
Chief Minister knew well that certain members of the party were 
quiescent valcano waiting for the appropriate time to errupt^ 
They had a covetous eye on the office of the Chief Minister. 
They were not worried ovei; the fate of the people. The Chief 
Minister, oh the other hand, wanted to pull the State out of the 
dhrT alleys' of backwardness 'and" neglect from where nobody 
had earlier trieid to rpsque it. l it ^as a difficult task to be 
accomplished in the prevailing conditions. The 1971-Lok Sabha 
elections infused new spirit and confidence in' the Chief Minister. 
He was ensured of massive . majority victory in future also. He 
decided to taTce a step. He asTced the Prime Minister to permit 
him to have mid-term poll of the Assembly in the State in 1972-- 
exactly one year before the stipulated tenure of the Assembly. 
Getting a green signal from the Prime Minister, the Chief Minister 
advised the Governor to dissolve the Assembly for new elections. 
Consequently, the Assembly was dissolved on January 21, 1972 
and fresh elections ordered. 

$1, jCashyap. Subhas C., op, cit, p, 2^7 


Factionalism in the party once again came to surface 
when the selection of the party candidates started. All efforts tb 
strike a compromise ended in a fiasco. Besides the ofl&cial list, 
former Speaker Brigadier Ran Singh, Shrimati Om Prabha Jain, 
Mahabir Singh Yadav and Shrimati Chandravati submitted therf 
separate lists. The former Union Minister of State, Sher Singh, 
was also opposed to the list submitted by the HPCC. Deputations 
met Smt. Gandhi and alleged that the Chief Minister recommended 
the names of persons “who have defected from the party 
several times and are known to have indulged in corrupt, 
practices,®*” The Congress Central Election Committee had to 
defer decision on the selection of the candidates thrice. The 
faction leaders were hopeful that a situation like 1968 might be 

created when Bhagwat Dayal Sharma was kept out of contest. 
But the Prime Minister firmly backed Bansi Lai and the issue 
was decided in his favour. No doubt, some of the dissidents 
were also given party tickets, while some others were kept out.®* 
According to the final list, 77 of the 81 candidates were Bansi 
LaPs nominees.. Abdul Ghaffar Khan and Neki Ram, two 
Ministers were also dropped — both due to their old age. However, 
Veerender Singh, son of Neki Ram was given the Congress ticket 
in place of his father. 


Pattern of contest in 1972 Assembly Elections 

No. of candidates who contested 

2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 ■ U • 

No. of constituencies in which they contested . 

8 10 23 20 8 6 2 1 2 1 ' 

Source ; Election Commission of India, 1976 (unpublished dafa). 
Seats Contested : 81. Total Candidates : 384. 

62. The Statesman^ February 6, 1972. 

63. Shrimati Om Prabha Jain, Shrimati Chandravati and Mahabir Singh 
Yadav were given tickets, while Brig. Ran Singh and Ranbir Singh were’ ' 
l 9 it. In place of Ranpir Singh, his son was given the party ticket. 

- - ^ / .y 

THE POtlfltiAt SCEn¥ IN HVflitANA: 

. Haryana was one of the: States which went to poll in March 
1972. It was for the third time the ^ectojiate goin^ to the polls 
in a period of 5 years,,and less then 6 years from' the inception. 
Neither of the two previous Assemblies completed their full term. 
Pr^eviously the Assembly waa dissolved by the Governor under 
article 356 of the Constitution, but in 1972 he did so under a 
different provision, of the Constitution, that is upder article. 174, 
This time tho ministry was .retained. 

The number of the candidates contesting the election was 
smaller as compared to 1967 and 1968 (there were 384 candidates, 
in all). The new feature pf this election jwa^ that? all non- 
Congress (R) parties had- an- alliance between themselves. The 
Cqngress (R) Jiked to go ahead alone. The Congress contwted 
all. the 8r seats. The United Front set up candidates foj 62 
seats anjd had an understanding with Independent capdidatk in 
regard to 11 other seats. The Arya Sabha ' and *Cohgres? (O) 
emerged as new political parties in the State politics. : .. 

There were niany weapons"in the armoury of the ruling party. 
The pro-Gohgress swing since the 1971 Lpk Sa|)ha poll fu^her 
inprcaaed as a result of the improved image* of the' PrimI Minister 
following India’s victory in the war and the emergence of BaUglS 
Dwh. Another factor in favour of the party was the political 
stability which the party’s fule provided during its four*|^ear 
tei|ur4. tTheY;. political stability, - of course^ led .to the r^id 
de^elopmeni of Haryana which had* remained i bacifcward”and 
underdeveloped area since long. ^ This included cent-per-cent 
rural electrification, completion of several new irrigation projects 
to provide water to the sandy and un-irrigated land, "and construc- 
tion of new roads. ' - : 

The Opposition, on the other hand intensified its onslaught 
against what it called the autocratic rule of the Chief Minister. 
It charged him with having encouraged defections and shielding 
the corrupt. But these arguments did not have much impact 
uppn the voting behaviour in this election.' The opposition also 
tried its best to arouse the caste ^apd sub-caste sentiments. As 
regards developmenjal prograrnmes, the Opposition ^flSrmed that 
in the first place the achievements of The admini^ratiou were 
being ovel-rated and a blind eye wps being turpedToThe large- 


Vot^i^parti^attwi «iA:Bfr^ifise-i«iferiiiaDce ii|15^%iA.sseaib^ ElectioA^ 



"t I 

<?> -I . ^ ^ 

I I M I 

S 2 

3 ^ ^ 


g ^ ^ 

2 S3 ?5 a I 

III 1 1 

VO ^ 


I I 

lilt J I 


o\ o\ 






00 • 
o r 


•o c^ 

0\ o® 

<s r- 

OO C;!, 



s ' 3 

(D «« 


C 3 

I r 




y^ i-t ro »-« cs 







i 3 




I r 

I 1 1 : 

S‘53 .§ 8 


'/.' I 



Party^wise position iii lQie Assembly at tke periods indicated alongwith 

Mariyana j studies “in MsVoky aWd?61itics 

1 I I K: 

ect o 
<u f> 
00 CO ^ 

1 I \u 

I I ^“2 I fe*| 

w 00 

• 4-» '3 

I 1^ I I S I I I S 

- I ‘I I jsoocn 

U'O R bo ^ CLi cu S ^ 

SI? Stss 

TABLE Xyil . , ^ - 

Party-wise position of different Castes, Classes and l^ligions in 1967, 1968 sji^bl 972 AssemblyiElectiong; 



^ r® "" I 

I I I I I I I I I I -I- I I 1 

I I I .! Ir l.vl-;J I I I I 

I I I I I I I I i I I " I 

Ml- 1 .1 . 1 . . 111 "'! 

VO I I es I 

I , I 

II i I I 

u g M M i' I I I l| - i I I I 

ffj 00 ^ < 1 ^ 

I |zi VO I CS»-< j CV|»-<fSOV 

C5N ro to 'O 

-r I 1 1 Ms 

•s I Is -I M 5 ;a a ‘I ^ 'I ’g 

BKD RPI BAS Independents . Total 




0 \ 

CO <0 CO T~l CS CS 

CN 00 >0 


I I - I I ^ I I I 11 I 

1 " I 

I 1 I 1 1 ^ - 1 « 

I I 1 1 I 1 I I 1 1 

1 1 1 I I I I I 1 1 I 1 1 1 

I 11 I 1 I 1 1 1 I Mi- 
ll I I 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 ^ 

1 1 I 1 1 1 1 I 1 I 1 M 1 

scale corruption which had been indulged in under the cloak of 
development programmes.®* 

The Congress won 52 seats, while the Congress (O) was 
second with 12 seats (see Tables XIV and XV). The Jan Sangh 
and the Vishal Haryana Party licked the ground. Two powerful 
Vishal Haryana candidates lost two prestigious seats. In Jatusana 
constituency, Col. Maha Singh defeated Kumari Sumitra Devi, 
who enjoyed great respect in the ilaqa. But the soldier-turned- 
politician Col. Maha Singh proved to be more than a match in 
this constituency. In Rewari constituency, Abhay Singh defeated 
Shivraj Singh, the younger brother of Birender Singh. 

It was indicative of people’s* distaste for the regional politi- 
cal parties —without any economic programme. This was also due 
to the decline of the Vishal Haryana charm and the influence of 
Ahir leader, Birender Singh. Col. Maha Singh had done a yeoman’s 
service to the people of this ilaqa when he was in C.R.P.F. His 
popularity plus the Chief Minister’s developmental programmes 
and the tour of Shrimati Gandhi on the eve of election made it 
easy for the Congress victory. One mofe interesting feature of this 
election was that the Chief Minister declared that in order to test 
his popularity, he would not visit his constituency for canvassing 
or for rany other reason, and also, would not appoint polling 
agents. He was being opposed by the 'stormy-Jat leader’ Devi Lai, 
who was contesting from two constituencies simalteneousiy, 
Bansi Lai won his seat with hands down with a huge margin of 
20,000 votes He did not visit his constituency before the decla- 
ration of the result.®® However, Devi Lai lost from both places. 

All the sitting members of the BKD and the Jan Sangh and 
five out of the six of the Vishal Haryana Were defeated. The Cong- 
ress retained 31, Congress (O) 4, VHP 2 and Independents 2 seats, 
while others either changed sides or lost. 23 out the 62 sitting 
members were defeated. Thus, a majority (42) of the members 
was of new-comers. 

Certain clear trends emerged out from this election (see 
Tables XVl-XVII) (i) The people voted on caste and sub-caste 
lines. But as all the political parties had fielded candidates 

64. The fiindUt March 9. 1972. 

65. The Tribune, March 13, 1972, 


belonging to the dominating caste in a constituency, so the prefer- 
ence of the voters could not be known. It was a sure indication that 
only dominating caste or sub-caste candidates could dare to contest 
and hope to win. (ii) The voters rejected the vote-bank system, 
and were inclined to establish a direct rapport with the candidate, 
though it was not practically possible. The castcrleaders influence 
was also on decline, (iii) The elections remained personality- 
oriented, instead of policy or programme oriented. The contesting 
political parties, such as VHP and Jan Sangh, suifered much 
damage as none of their ‘big’ leaders were contesting this time, 
(iv) Chrismatic-politics had its great impact on the voters. 
Bansi Lai had emerged as a chrismatic leader, who had done 
wonderful work in the field of development and stabilisation of 
the politics in the State. There was no match to him in the field, 
voters ’ had accepted him a dynamic leader with definite pro- 
gramme to uplift the masses and provide strong leademhip to the 
people, (v) Another clear pattern emerged, in the division of urban 
and rural, and ‘Punjabi’ and non-Punjabi voters. The Punjabi- 
voters showed sectarian approach in voting participation by 
preferring a Punjabi, wherever possible. In a way, the voters 
had institutionalised their support. 

Politics of Development 

Bansi Lai was sworn in as the Chief Minister on March 14, 1972, 
ie formed a small cabinet, to begin with. But keeping in view 
he acceleration of the pace of developmental schemes and toning 
mdf the administration^ the Cabinet was expanded®^ on October 
j 1972. Besides that grievances committees had also been set 

L in every district to look into the grievances of the people. 

Every St was put under a separate Minister, wto was 
Ssed to attend the meetings of the Committee every month 
and see that grievances were redressed, promises fulfilled and plan 
togets aiteved. This made the administration more efficient 

and vigilant. 

No doubt, Haryana has always created histories It is a 
land of ancient culture and mythology. The battle of Maha- 
Iharata was fought here, the light of Geeta spread m the world 

They were : Ram Samtt Ch ■ ' 
Lai and Col. Maha Smgh < - ' 

..1 f^arpal Singh, Chiranji 

\i ' ■ . ^^rs. Chandravati, Mrs. 

1 1 i. ( ■ . ^t^nist 9 ^ pf States). Th? 

from here. Ih medieval history, alLgreat bettles were fought, Hei’e^ 
and the fate of the country was decided on the^plaifis of Haryanaf. 
It made history again- wheti^ defections and oounter-defections, 
started; although not a happy- dvent. The happemng' had -its 
effect on- other -States- -Congress Ministries fell likehdhse.Qf cards. 
Once again it was Haryana which brought back confidence in the 
people that only Congress* party and its leaders were capable; to- 
deliver the goods. 

But the achievements under the leadership of BansiLal 
during a short span of 2750 days (May 21, 1968 to November 30^ 
1975) were.unbelivable and unheard of. It was a saga of all round 
development. Haryana was fifth in * India in the matter of per 
capita income at. the time of its formation as a, separate State. 
It attained second position in the country. by the year 1969-70 and 
has been maintaining, the position since then. Its per capita 
income (at, 1960^61- prices) was Rs, 433 in 1973-74 against Rs. 340 
fpr the country as a whole. The target, of 100% rural electrification 
was-achieved in November 1970, which was merely 18.75% in May 
1968., More, than one and .half lakh power-run tiibewells irrigated 
more than 14 lakh acres of land in the State. As a result, Hdryana 
is now the second biggest granary of the country. Extension of 
irrigation facilities to the chronically drought effected areas of the 
State received special attention of the government. The Chief 
Minister took personal interest in the irrigation schemes. Being 
a farmer.himsclf, he knew it quite. well that the. farmers of the 
State did not shirk hard workj but the nature and natu-.ral resources 
kept . him at a .disadvantageous position^ Given . proper facilities, 
the. farmer, of Haryana would remain second to none in 
producing celeaisjwhiehr the country, has toJmport. Consequently, 
three- main irrigation sehenies . were, launched: on priority, basis, 
the Jui Lift' irrigation Scheme Avas' taken up. in November, 1^69 
and was compieted in a record tiine of twor working- xseasoASi Over 
160 Kms. long channels with 7 pumping stations were.-oonstrueted 
to carry the- flood water of Ja*muna for, irrigating the parched and 
dry lands, the Jui canal hds been made perennial sincejanuary 
1973 oil the commissioning of AugmentatiomCanaLand. has beep 
working very satisfactorily. 

The work on the IndiraiGandhi canal of,Loharp.Lift‘lrriga- 
tibii Project was taken up in the year 1970 and the foundation 



stone of the first pump house was laid by the Prime Minister on 
January 13, 1971. The construction of 60 miles long channel 
and four pump houses was completed by July 1971 and the canal 
was.. commissioned on July 28, 197L Eight new pU.n!ipjiiig, Stations 
with 80. miles of channels were further commissioned In July 1972; 
The project, when completed, will provide irrigation, to the 
droughtrprone, areas extending over 133,000 hectares gross area 
in district. Bhiwani and shall be utilising surplus water of Jamuina 
river and flood water of Drain No. 8 for Kharifl* irrigation. On 
the availability of supplies from Ravi-Beas waters the canal would 
become perennial. The much ambitious Jawahar Lai Nehtn 
Lift Irrigation Scheme which will irrigate the areas in Mhhender^ 
garh, Rohtak and Bhiwani districts, has been launched. When 
completed, these schemes will change the very face of the States 
In fact, there are dozens of other projects which have been 
completed or are being completed, 

Road is a sure symbol of progress, it makes new ideas travel 
■to .thie. interior, and thus revolutionises the slumbering villages. 
'The total length of roads in the State was 5,650 Kms. in May 
1968, and till April 1975 it was 14,280 Kms. Now almost every 
village has been connected with a road. The State transport 
buses ply^ on these roads carrying half a million passengers daily, 
the Roadways fleet is best in Asia in maintenance, service and 
earning profits. The employees are Well paid and elfideint in 

their wcrk‘ 

Every’ village has a primary school, there, is a middle, school 
at;2 kins, and a high school at 5 k-ms. in the State* There. are 
three universities in the State with 125 colleges imparting instrucr 
tion in education, science, arts, humanities, agriculture, medicine, 
technology, etc. In a span of about seven and a half years 
Haryana has worked miracles. Much more could have been done 
but for the constraint of resources. Priorities were fixed and the 
Chief Minister soon made it clear that he was not the man to 
wait^ The change has been tremendus : Haryana has acquired 
the reputation of being a forward looking modern, dynamic State. 
For this transformation, the most important single factor h^ 
been the quality of leadership. The State had been fortunate in 
having at a very critical period of its inception Bansi Lai an its 

Chief Minister whose constant endeavour had been to push things 
through at a break-neck speed so that the impact could be 
immediate and instant. 

The period of Bansi Lai’s Chief Ministership is a story of 
all round development. There had been charges against him 
for not observing certain official procedures while a crash 
programme was launched for the development of the State. In fact 
the Chief Minister, Bansi Lai, focussed his entire attention to see 
that the State got a face-lift without loss of apy time. His vision 
was clear, while others failed to recognise it in the initial stages. 
Normal procedures of administrative routine baffled and annoyed 
■him. He spoke directly to the common man in the comon man’s 
language. He distrusted red-tape and did not hesitate to act in 
utter disregard of the so called procedures, He wanted positive 

Bansi Lai managed and controlled the party machine with 
remarkable efficiency. Nihal Singh was unanimously elected the 
HPCC President when Ram Saran Chand Mittal was included in 
the Cabinet, Banarsi Das Gupta was elected Speaker of the 
Haryana Vidhan Sabha on April 3, 1972 and later on inducted in 
Cabinet. On November 16, 1972 Swarup Singh was elected the 
Speaker of the Vidhan Sabha, unanimously. On December 1, 1975, 
Bansi Lai was included in .the Central Cabinet of Smt. Gandhi 
and Banarsi Das Gupta was sworn in as the new Chief Minister 
of Haryana. The State came to occuppy a place of political emi- 
nence in the national politics. The switch over of Bansi Lai to the 
Centre and elevation of Banarsi Das Gupta to the Chief -Minister- 
ship seemed to be so smooth going and well expected that little 
’Surprise was expressed by the press or the people. 

Last, but not the least, it would not be out of place to 
mention the role played by the late B.N. Chakravarty, Governor 
of the State. He was more than ornamental Consititutional Head 
of the State. He always took keen interest in the various develop- 
mental schemes from their very inception. He had been a source 
of constant inspiration and acted as “a friend, guide and philos- 
‘pher” to Bansi Lai. He played a vital role in the upliftment of 


Abdali, Ahmad Shah— 35, 37, 

Ahirs— 53, 85, 86, 88 
Alha Singh ~ 38, 48 
Arya Samaj— 72 
Aurglngzeb — 46, 47 
Azad, Maulana Abul Kalam — 

Bahadur Shah— 47, 52, 57, 91 
Balbir Singh, Rao — 116, 121, 

122, 125 

Bana— 8, 9, 10, 11, 17 
Bansi Lai - 136, 171, 173, 178, 
197, 198 

Bhagwat Dayal— 146, 147, 148, 
155, 156, 158, 162, 163, 164, 
170, 171, 173, 174, 176, 178, 
179, 180, 188 

Bhargwa, Gopi Chan d— 112, 124 
Birender Singh— 154, 156, 159, 
161, 165, 163, 167, 175, 186 
Brahmin-27, 85, 86, 144 
Buddha Prakash-76, 77, 79 
Chakra varty, B.N.— 157, 172, 

Chandragupta — 6 

Chand Ram— 115, 168, 161, 164 

Chavan, Y.B.— 176 

Chhotu Ram— 50, 72, 117, 120, 

123, 125, 139 

Cunningham, Alexander— 96, 97 
Desai, Bhulabhai — 119, 124 
Desai, K.A.— 106, 110, 112, 119 
Devi Lai— 159, 161, 163, 164, 

Fazl-i-Hussain — 117, 120 
Gandhi, Indira— 143, 147, 174, 
181, 182 

Gandhi, Mahatma — 71, 93, 129 
Govind Singh, Guru— 45, 46, 

Gujars— 53, 85, 86, 87, 88, 98, 

Gupta, Banarsi Das— 136, 197 

Guptai Ram Krishan— 146, 148, 
163, 164. 170J 173 
Hargobind— 45, 61, 62, 64 
Harsha-8, 11 
Herodotus— 96 
Hodson— 58, 59, 60, 61 

Jats-35, 57, 86, 87, 88, 92, 95, 
96, 97, 98, 99, 100, 102, 144 
Jawahir Singh— 35, 36, 37, 41, 
42, 50 

Joshe, Sohan Singh— 109 
Kairon, Pratap Singh— 158 
Khan, Abdul Gaff^— 1 12, 163 
Khan, Khizer Hay at— 139, 141 
Khan, Sikander Hayat— 123, 139 
Kartikeya— 5, 6. 14 
Kuru— 12, 28 
Lahri Singh— 124, 137 
Lajpat Rai, Lala— 114 
La,wrence, Sir John— 62 
Maha Singh, Col.- 190, 198 
Malviya, Madan Mohan— 112, 
119, 121 

Mattamayuras— 5, 6 
Meo— 54, 55, 56, 95, 88, 92, 93 
Mewat— 51, 51, 82, 83, 88 
Mittal, Ram Saran Chand— 178, 
281, 197 

Muhamad Azim— 62, 63, 64, 92 
Nahar Singh— 91 
Najih-ud-duallah— 35, 36, 27, 
38, 39, 40, 41, 43 
Nehru, Jawahar Lai— 93, 109, 
120, 129 

Nehru, Moti Lai — 109 
Naidu, Sarojini— 120 


Nanda, Gulzari Lai — 158^ 171 
O^Da^vy&r, Michael—73 
Pakistan— 50, 93, 95, 96, 102 
Panini— S2 

Patel, Vallabli Bhai— 119 
Prabhakaravardhana — 8 
Privithviraja— 33, 37 
Rajagopalacbari— 1 1 9 
Rajputs— 19, 57, 86, 88, 89, 98. 
101, 144 

■Ranbir Smgh-163, 170, 171, 

Ranghars— 53j 57, 58, 85 
Ran Singh, Brigadier— 170, 172 
Reddy, ‘Sanjlv N.— 177, 1 81 
Rigveda — 20, 22, 24, 25, 27, 31, 

Sabha, Naujawan Bharat— 105, 
106,107, 108 
Sajniidragnpta— 6 
Satya Pal-lOS, 109, 119 

Sharma Neki Ram— 110, 1J2, 
Sher Singh— 170 
Shrikantha— 8, 11 
Suraj Mai— 35, 36 
Swami Sharaddhanand — 71 
Tafzal Hussain— 57, 58 
Taksaq, Nihal Singh— 137, 837 
Teg Bahadur, Guru— 45, 46 
Tod, James— 96, 98 
Tula Ram, Rao— 64, 91, 92 

Yadav, Mahabir Singh— 174 
187 ^ > 

Yadav, MangH Ram— 115, 136 
Yadav, Neki Ram — 135 
Yadu-Turvashu— 6, 9, 13 
Yadvindera Singh — 138 
Yaudheyas— 6, 7, 13 
Yuan Chwang— 8> 11 


Archaeological Library, 

S2.3I j 

Call No. 

Author — U‘ 


Stp>y, - Am-oL 

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